Jade Raven - "Plus One" EP

For those who enjoyed Jade Raven's last outing, their new EP Plus One will give them more of that fine female-fronted pop-rock for which the group has become known. However, the addition of Kelly Cook on bass has given Jade Raven a much fuller sound, and it seems the band has embraced the sonic change wholeheartedly.

The former trio (now quartet) has freed former bassist Eric to play guitar along with Holly. The dual-guitar attack is a much more rocking sound -- less restrained and poppy. This is not to say the band has completely lost its pop sound. Oh, no -- the choruses are just as catchy as ever. Jade Raven just lost their inhibitions and released their inner rockers.

The guitars are Weezer-ish in their sound (a special plus for this reviewer), and the bass and drums provide a solid beat that begs the listener to sway their hips. Holly's vocals flirt along a fine line between Belinda Carlisle's sweetness and Joan Jett's sneering. This provides for an album that is catchy and nearly punk rock. It also makes Plus One much more solid than the band's debut album, In the Dark.

Plus One makes it seem that Jade Raven has found its focus. The group has become a cohesive rock quartet that produces upbeat, catchy songs that -- while lending themselves to nodding heads -- are equally at home alongside a makeout session.

Everything said and done, Jade Raven's new EP is well worth your hard-earned money. Pop kids, punk rockers, and rock fans all have an album that they'll find worthwhile.