MANUAL SEX DRIVE: Music Is Dead: CD

Man, I really don’t like this band’s name. Or the album’s title. But aside from those two details, I don’t particularly enjoy the music either. Cheesy synths and a bloated trombone awkwardly accompany the band’s stringed instruments and the singer’s off-key yodels. I think they’re going for a Less Than Jake instrumental feel meets a Panic! At The Disco bad boy neo-Sinatra vibe, but one can’t be sure. During his better moments, the singer almost hits a Jello Biafra-esque vocal bravado, which is cool. But for each bearable refrain, there’s a cornball verse to match. Maybe if Music Is Dead were mixed better I wouldn’t find it so aggravating. But then again, maybe I’m giving a band that voluntarily chose the name “Manual Sex Drive” too much credit. –Simone Carter (Self-released, manualsexdrive.com)