While Virginia trio Rocknoceros finishes up their third album, they've remastered and re-released their self-titled debut CD. I've always thought of the band as the East Coast Recess Monkey -- or maybe they're the West Coast Rocknoceros -- and here's yet another similarity. This debut album is not as good as what follows, but contains glimmers of the talent shown to much fuller extent on Dark Side of the Moon Bounce (review). The songs here are much more direct -- counting songs, songs about hygeine and sharing. But there's subtleties and off-kilteredness, too -- the sadness and acceptance of the stone-cold classic "Big Head," the sparse "Zen Garden," and the too-meta-for-preschoolers "Trying to Write a Song."
The 33-minute album features mostly pop and rock stylings, but with some blues and other rootsier music thrown in for color (literally, on "Blue"). It's most appropriate for kids ages 2 through 6. You can hear samples here or some full track at the band's homepage.
The debut isn't where I'd direct newcomers to Rocknoceros; for that I'd go to the second CD. But if you like Dark Side..., then you and your kids (especially the preschoolers) will also dig this disk. Recommended.