Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review: Research Turtles "Research Turtles"

Back in August the young Louisiana band Research Turtles released their self-titled debut CD. The band is composed of brothers Jud Norman (vocals and bass) and Joe Norman (guitar and vocals), as well as Logan Fontenot on lead guitar, and Blake Thibodeaux on drums and percussion. A very cool name for a band that I trust is a great conversation starter, but can these inquisitive terrapins rock?

Rock they can, but in a raw and indie garage way, mixing some moments of melodic pop with downright gritty guitar and near slacker production. Kind of like early Fountains of Wayne meets Foo Fighters. Most of the songs are pretty good, but some are nondescript, and one had me reaching for the fast forward button (the plodding "The Riff Song"). The highlight for me was the "wake you up with a slap in the face" opening track, "Let's Get Carried Away". Other standout tracks include the slower "Kiss Her Goodbye", which has a neat Cars-inspired keyboard riff and subtle harmonies, and "Tomorrow", which has a breezy reggae feel sandwiching a catchy power pop chorus. "Into A Hole" has a classic Weezer feel, dressing up a great 50s/60s pop melody with grungy guitar.

The CD is enjoyable and fun most of the time, and my buddy Aaron over at Powerpopaholic was more enthusiastic about them. In my opinion, there is great potential here if the Research Turtles stick out their melodic neck some more and come out of their hard shell.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 4, 7, 8

Research Turtles on MySpace.

Check out a live performance of the hearty rocker, "Cement Floor":

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