Feb. 26 2014 02:00 PM

You sent it in, and we reviewed—whether you like it or not

The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble
“Layin Low” b/w "IB Struttin”

It's impossible to get a real bead on a band through two songs, but The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble have picked a winning pair on their debut 7-inch. Grooving somewhere between Afrobeat rhythms and straight-up soul, this instrumental collective has obvious chops and showcases them nicely on this double-shot. And, really, who doesn't like vinyl? thesurefiresoulensemble.bandcamp.com

—Scott McDonald

Teagan Taylor

Set against a smooth-jazz band with a sugary keyboard, Taylor sings heartfelt songs of love and longing. With a big, clear voice, she cleverly improvises her lyrical poetry through surprisingly unpretentious, enjoyable arrangements. teagantaylor.com

—Joshua Emerson Smith

Tiger Milk Imports
Tiger Milk Imports

As I take in Tiger Milk Imports' winding synths, layered rhythms and sly vocal parts, I feel like I'm wandering the infinite alleyways of some virtual futurescape—like Tron but a littler darker. There's a lot going on with this outfit's proggy electro-pop sound, which is distinct and full of promise. A couple of tracks here have frustratingly similar bass lines; a couple others sacrifice soul for the sake of technical showiness. But when core members Shannon O'Brien and Alexander Dausch zero in—with the intricate "Welcome to Nighttime," for example, or the hypnotizing synth opus "Vegas"—they come up with something special. facebook.com/TigerMilkImports

—Peter Holslin 

Todo Mundo

Todo Mundo is a damn-fine live act. But not enough of that impromptu energy and expansiveness translated on 2010's Organic Fire. With Conexion, the discrepancy between performances and recorded output is starting to fade. Latin grooves, samba, reggae, cumbia and jazz combine on the new album for an enjoyable hour of music that more than hints at what they can do on stage. I don't think they'll ever be able to capture the magic of their shows on a standard release, but they're certainly getting closer. reverbnation.com/todomundo

—Scott McDonald

The Touchies 
Mess With The Unicorn… Get The Horn! 

Straight-up pop punk. Simplistic, melodic, irreverent. Every song be gins with a "1-2-3-Go!" and almost all of them clock in at 2:30 or less. The tunes are catchy and straight-ahead without any regard for pretense or self-indulgent "artistry." Listening to this takes me back to the feeling of going to all-ages punk shows in my younger days. reverbnation.com/thetouchies

—Jackson Milgaten

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