Signal Hill Transmission Tomorrow, the Stars

The debut from this Los Angeles-based band certainly has some bright spots, but does the world really need another emotional rock based foursome? General music industry matters aside, Signal Hill Transmission starts off with some great swagger in the catchy opener "Into the Great Unknown,” which stands up to the best the current Brit-rock bonanza has to offer. After this, though, that inner voice starts to nag with statements like "Oooo, this sounds like Guided By Voices!” and "Aren’t those the opening riffs from Tom Cochrane’s ‘Big League’?” Of course, it’s doubtful that these Californians’ ears have ever been graced by Cochrane’s paean to hockey, but the point is that one too many songs bring up other bands and their respective licks. Hell, even the vocalist gets in the act as from time to time he warbles uncannily like Josh Rouse. For those with less discerning ears, there’s some good, proper rock found here, but those who lovingly possess a long inner checklist of influences, keep those red pens handy. (P.A. Juice)