This week's Note for Note features a Star Trek tribute band and some surf rock enthusiasts that share a knack for the thematic, as well as guitarist Patrick O'Connor.
Five Year Mission - Year Two
This Indy-based collection of Star Trek aficionados is hell bent on giving each episode of the original series its own song. Year Two, a 17-track album that's as sprawling in length as the interstellar territory explored by Kirk and the gang, is a continuation in their assignment. While initial expectations of eight minute epics and weirdo sci-fi synth are understandable given the subject matter, this nerd-rock quintet are just as interested in pop-punk and surf guitar as they are in futuristic deep space exploration. "Arena" is as energetic and catchy as anything They Might Be Giants came up with, "The Squire of Gothos" pays homage to brand of mariachi punk Green Day dabbled in before finding politics, and top track "Space Seed's" easy going pop flair is so strong melodically you would think these kids have every Fountains of Wayne record memorized (along with the periodic table). Add a star to the rating if you know whatever the hell a Gorn is.
The Madeira - Tribal Fires
So what if using the word cinematic is a cliche? It perfectly describes this foursome birthed from the echoing reverb of Mr. Dick Dale himself. Think their brand of neo-surf is a gimmick? Try telling that to the pulsating confidence in the rhythm section, anchored by drummer Dane Carter, or the blistering guitar work of Ivan Pongracic - who peaks brilliantly on "Fire Sacrifice." These are real tunes with real attitude, real hooks, and real muscle that can wallop you as hard as any wipeout. Someone tell Quentin Tarantino I just found the soundtrack to his next film. He'll agree it's cinematic too.
Jon is also the founding editor of the pop culture blog PopTometry.