Band's growth shows on latest EP


Bust a move and/or a gut with the latest roundup of Vegas music releases:

IMAGINE DRAGONS, "Hell and Silence EP" (myspace.com/imaginedragons): Dan Reynolds sounds like a dude with a bull's-eye for a heart.

The Imagine Dragons singer/keyboardist isn't shy about broadcasting his emotions: He shouts them from the rooftops of his band's towering tunes, which tend to be constructed out of 10-story choruses and bright and shiny hooks.

The Dragons' latest EP continues to showcase the young band's rapid progression.

With its staccato vocal delivery and huge keys, "All Eyes" sounds destined for the airwaves, the same of which could be said of the wistful "Emma," with its dizzy synth lines and coed harmonies, and the climactic "I Don't Mind," which is powered by ricocheting guitars.

"Believe it or not, it's all that we can give," Reynolds sings on the latter tune. "And I don't mind."

Neither do we.

TEE JAY BLAKK, "Club Hop" (myspace.com/teejayblakk): Geography looms large in the aesthetics of hip-hop, but when it comes to these parts, Vegas' sound is as barren as the desert that surrounds the city.

Tee Jay Blakk aims to change this on "Club Hop," attempting to establish an identity for Sin City rap with a sound that's a blend of Southern-leaning, bass-heavy hip-hop and progressive house and trance.

Tying most tracks to a specific Vegas nightclub -- "L.A.X.," "Moon, "The Bank," etc. -- Blakk pairs outsized, cresting synth lines with seismic beats, crooned R&B hooks and his own boisterous rhymes.

It's a fairly chaotic, over-the-top mix of styles, and really, what could be more Vegas than that?

THA ROARIN' LIONZ, "Part I: Destroy The Universe" (roarinlionz.com): Need to get even with a neighbor? How about that guy who steals your newspaper and lets his dog crap on your lawn?

Well, Tha Roarin' Lionz, played at sufficiently loud volume, should do the trick. A deliberately obnoxious comedy rap disc, "Destroy" sees MCs Thunduh and Lone-Wulf name checking Fred Savage and "A Fish Called Wanda" over a backdrop of past radio hits such as Gloria Estefan's "Conga" and Quiet Riot's "Metal Health."

Thunduh and Lone-Wulf, also known as Jewish Dave and MC Randumb from other projects of a similar bent, rap about as well as they spell, bellowing out the hooks to various '80s and '90s standards like a couple of drunks protesting last call.

Like Schlitz and anything starring Steve Guttenberg, it's so bad, it's actually kinda good.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

 

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