CALL US KINGSNut Up or Shut Up
Formed only a few months ago by former members of Everything Zen and the Thrifters, Mentor's Call Us Kings storm out of the gate with the six-song EP Nut Up or Shut Up, which features some tight pop-punk harmonies that suggest the band locked in quickly. The rollicking "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Dice" features a crunchy guitar riff and sweet harmonies; the ballad "Reality Check" wouldn't sound out of place on a teen-themed TV show or movie. But too often Call Us Kings go for a formula that's played out by now. — Jeff Niesel
MY MOUTH IS THE SPEAKER
It's easy to categorize My Mouth Is the Speaker as Akron emo. But on its debut album, Landmarks, the quintet has more to offer than familiar SoCal punk tempos, whiny Green Day vocals, and loud stop/start guitars. For starters, Brandon Gardner's astral keyboards give the band an awesomely unique and dreamy rock vibe. Also, the group's diversity comes through via the reggaefied Police riffs in "At the Rate I'm Going" and the banjo that drives "Striking Gold (In the Old West)." Led by Daniel Palmentera's finely tuned lyrical barrages, My Mouth Is the Speaker balance dream-pop and fists-in-the air rock anthems in album highlights like "Landmarks." — Keith Gribbins
My Mouth Is the Speaker, with Stiletto, Ground Is Lava, and Worn Out Tigers. 9 p.m. Friday, June 18, Musica, Akron. Tickets: $7; Call: 330-374-1114 or go to akronmusica.com
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