The only review of Dream Phone that really matters is the one I just heard from the guy working behind the counter at a local coffee shop: “Dream Phone rips.” The local super-ish group — featuring members of The Lopez, Roulette Waves, Harlan Twins, etc. — is fast becoming a fan favorite, and with good reason. On the whole, Dream Phone resembles the harmony-laden, gray-day retro surf rock that we’ve heard lately from the likes of Chastity Belt, but a song like “Someone to Love” — which has the feel of The Pretenders covering The Kinks — is a reminder that artists have been going retro since forever, to great effect. Bottom line: This record rips.
DREAM PHONE ALBUM-RELEASE SHOW. 9 p.m. Sat., Sept. 12. Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $7. 412-586-4441 or www.spiritpgh.com
The Crew of the Half Moon
In terms of elapsed time, this EP from the Johnstown, Pa.-based three-piece is short. But it does an impressive job of packing in the range of this band’s capabilities. Bookended by straightforward neo-Americana, the middle of the record takes a dramatic turn, venturing into ’90s alt-rock territory. (“The Party After the Show” sounds like something Billy Corgan would have played on his recent acoustic tour). By the band’s own admission, it can’t be pinned down: “Whatever we like, we play,” as its Facebook page states. This lends itself to some disjointedness, but overall, Rays Hill is a solid effort.
THE CREW OF THE HALF MOON EP-RELEASE SHOW. 9 p.m. Thu., Sept 10. Thunderbird Café, 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $7. 412-682-0177 or www.thunderbirdcafe.net