It's a well-worn statement that critics bring out for the best animated movies, but Grand Piano's Sea EP deserves it as well: This one should captivate both kids and parents, for different reasons. This reference comes to mind, partly because Sea sounds like a very brief (its seven tracks clock in at less than 10 minutes) score for a bright, welcoming undersea world — like the one you'd see in Finding Nemo. The opening track "Sea Urchin" is a friendly guide for an underwater swim through rock, jazz and blues. The record mostly maintains this affable tone, but forays in to the depths with the sinister "Electric Eel," and the exuberant horns of "Blowfish." All of these characters feel satisfyingly lived-in — even if they don't hang around for long.
Bunny Five Coat
Thorazine Buffet Records
Bunny Five Coat thrives on simplicity — this power-chord-friendly punk band chugs along without trying to tear down barriers, and there's nothing wrong with that. Most tracks on Anymore provide thrills, although there's something vaguely impersonal about the "us vs. them" narratives on many of these tracks. On "Anymore," the narrator recalls a woman who has to move on from a man who walked out the door, but since it seems to retell someone else's story, the shout-alongs of "we can't take it anymore" feel misplaced; we don't know who's raging against whom. Anymore hits the mark more often than not, but with so many female-fronted punk bands giving us bracing, original takes on feminism, gender dysphoria and personal trauma, you can't help but wish that Bunny Five Coat took a few more risks along the way.