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Artist: The Napoleon Complex

Song: “Handcuffs” (from the CD How Does Salt Water Mix with Tea?)

Heard By: Patrick Ewing, Phoenix, AZ

I liked it. The vocals reminded me of the Blood Brothers a little bit. Good instrumental stuff. It’s rock, obviously. It’s more like the modern stuff that a lot of people are doing right now, I think. I thought it was pretty straightforward — none of those really “out there”

sounds — just mostly guitar, drums, and bass. There are a lot of cymbals going on with the drumming. It’s kind of climactic. I remember one lyric he sang was “waking up on the trolley with no pants and a broken jaw.” That was pretty powerful, I guess. It seems like something that would be pretty popular with the rock crowd.

Artist: Trophy Wife

Song: “The Cuddler” (from the CD Rose-scented Cuddle Moments…)

Heard By: Bart Cameron, Logan Heights

What did I like about it? Good songwriting. I don’t think that it was much more than two or three minutes, so I think that’s, like, your O.G. seven-inch record. There was a good eight-bar intro — not a whole lot of time screwing around. The lyrics were very funny without being too stupid. It was the contradiction of the character that they were describing: this guy “the Cuddler.” The whole country/rock thing…I like it. The first thing that jumped into my mind when I heard these guys was Cake. It’s the kind of stuff you find on a mix tape. They were way more than competent. I imagine seeing these guys live would be a good show.

Artist: The Vision of a Dying World

Song: “Awoken” (from the CD and the Grammar Lamb)

Heard By: Steve Andrews, El Cajon

I liked it a lot. The thumping bass line was kind of country-ish. The guitar had a lot of reverb on it. The guy’s voice was pretty mellow. It was almost kind of like Iron and Wine — really soft. The lyrics weren’t very audible, but the overall tone was very relaxed, whereas in most folk music they’re really trying to push specific vocals. This was more of a melodic sound. It was an interesting mix of country…a little bit of folk and indie, as well. I think it could be profitable. It depends on how good they are live. That’s the test for me. I think it’s good driving music, especially because of the bass line.

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