We're often drawn to thickly applied guitars and big melodies, and Irish quartet La Rocca's debut EP pushes our buttons a bit in that regard. The title track of its Sing Song Sung EP, released earlier this month, is catchy and earns points for brevity. But the EP skids into some trite territory. La Rocca's biggest sin is writing a song about keeping a diary -- always bad songwriting turf unless you are Morrissey or Belle & Sebastian -- and attendant WB network-ready over-emoting during "Sketches (20 Something Life)." Even so, there's a great hook in its chorus under urgently delivered vocals. "Home" also has a lot of itself on its sleeve, but in a manner pleasantly reminiscent of The Alarm. You can skip EP closer "Cambodia," a story-song of sorts that seems to drift lyrically toward something like Ginger Baker's odd 1994 solo track "East Timor." Sing Song Sung EP was produced by Tony Hoffer, who twisted knobs for Belle & Sebastian's recent collection The Life Pursuit. La Rocca's full length The Truth streets May 23 on Dangerbird. Our take: the set will rate with Modern Rock radio programming computers, not so much with indie fans.
[Buy the Sing Song Sung EP at Insound]