Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman

Weren’t FOB a rock band at some stage? This sounds like a Hollywood soundtrack commissioned from boy band retirees on crack. An aimless mess of studio fiddling and contrived experimentation.

CreepHyp (クリープハイプ) – Hyakuhachi Yen no Koi (百八円の恋)

Japanese art-punk-rock. Haunting, wailing and frenetic. Semi-operatic and borderline batshit crazy. I can dig it.

Bear Hands – Agora

An alternatively beseeching and pushy statement by the musical equivalent of pale, slightly creepy guys locked in bedrooms. Quirky rock with a streak of electro, the odd bit of R&B, affectations of new wave and a hint of nu-metal: an NY gen Y mocktail.

Infinite – Last Romeo

Visual-kei done Korean style. Seven androgynous men in lipstick and black vinyl/tighty-whitey suits, each one to the tastes of a teenage girl out there somewhere. Lots of choreographed set pieces and even more moody stares and passionate reaches toward the lens. The song itself has some moments with punchy brass riffs but in every other way is utterly cliche.

Block B – Jackpot

An ordinary girl finds herself amongst creepy vaudeville clowns who turn out to be dance/hip-hop K-boys channeling Aguilera on acid. Not even close to a good enough excuse for cramming at least 5 disjointed songs together into this nightmare. Of course the girl submits and joins the crew by the end, but they didn’t have me.

Akdong Musician (AKMU) – 200%

Korean tween hip-hop-pop. The girl seems to enjoy providing the cutesy riffs while her boy seems more conflicted, understandably preferring his Will Smith moments over the goofier scenes. Takes a turn for the pulp-pop as a third player is introduced, bringing a nascent courtship to a sudden halt – probably for the best, considering the leads are actually brother and sister.