"I won't always be around/I'm not always in this town," sneers guitarist Dale Delong on "Evil Eye," one of the best tunes on this band's fine debut. Much like the Kings of Leon or the Arctic Monkeys, these guys have a tempered swagger that distinguishes them from the alt-rock fray. With its soaring vocals, "Like It or Not" is an infectious number, and the propulsive "I Don't Need Your Light" is equally memorable. While the ballad "More" doesn't quite work, that's the exception, since the group tends to embrace a bigger, more anthemic sound on tunes like "Young Soul" and the Oasis-like "Dodge." — Jeff Niesel
The Royaltons perform with Call Me Constant, Jim From Portland and Joe Joyce at 9 p.m. Friday, February 19, at the Happy Dog (5801 Detroit Ave., 216.651.9474). Tickets: $5.
Taking a page out of Sublime's book of ska/rock/hip-hop, Tropidelic gets the party started and then some on this energetic EP. The disc kicks off with "Psycho," a tune that vacillates between wild guitar solos and deft turntable scratches, as singer Matthew Roads raps about a self-destructive paranoia. "Anthem" has a good dub vibe, and "Cleveland Stylee" offers a vibrant mix of old-school hip-hop and ska. Tropidelic are competent at mimicking 311/Sugar Ray/Sublime. The real question is whether they can move this outdated sound forward. — Niesel
Tropidelic perform with Badfish, Scotty Don't and Full Service at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 23, at House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583, houseofblues.com). Tickets: $15 advance, $18 day of show.