Moving In Stereo...
By: Darren Paltrowitz
While the last edition of Moving In Stereo involved more breakups than make-ups, this one is far more optimistic and awaiting of what's to come. Although the weeks since Volume 6 have included a lot of time spent in front of a computer, there were quite a few interesting performances caught by yours truly in that time. Unfortunately due to a pre-determined word limit, some of these newsworthy happenings will likely have to wait to be described until Volume 8.
From The Island
Two years since the cleverly-titled Dying In Stereo, Northern State has a full-length release readied for mass consumption. Titled All City, the disc will feature cameos from Har Mar Superstar and ?uestlove, in addition to production from Pete Rock and Cypress Hill's Muggs. Despite said collaborators, an old-school sound should still be expected. A five-piece band picking up a lot of industry steam is The Never Enders. Of the heavier-yet-melodic kind (i.e. Poison The Well, Refused, The Used), this quintet includes Kimberly Blair producer Tomas Costanza on bass duties. In addition to earning some airplay on WBAB, The Repercussions turned some heads as semi-finalists in Little Steven's Underground Garage Battle Of The Bands. Their latest disc, the ESCHE-released Don't Fear, is said to be some essential listening. Ready Twilight- recent collaborators with the aforementioned Never Enders bassist - will be seeing some international exposure within the next year. The summer of 2004 saw the young travel out to Los Angeles to record the theme song of The Life & Times Of Juniper Lee with Stewart Copeland, former drummer of The Police. Expect the series to premiere in February 2005 on The Cartoon Network.
From The Stage
Friday matinees aren't generally successful bookings on suburban Long Island, but a unique and exciting show happened with Hello Sir Records co-founders We Vs. The Shark and Cinemechanica. Following an opening set from the eccentric, crowd-moving, They Might Be Giants-inspired one-man band that is Dan Deacon, Cinemechanica played complex, fast-paced music that often bordered on math-rock and post-hardcore; my jaw often dropped when watching the dueling-lead guitarists keep up with the rhythm section. Equally as impressive as musicians were We Vs. The Shark, who frequently switched genres, time signatures and lead vocalists -- influence from The Minutemen was apparent despite a truly-original sound. Unfortunately, time limits kept these two naturally-energetic, Athens, Georgia-based quartets from playing full-length sets. Judas Priest may be considered a punchline in some music circles, but recycled banter aside, their performance on the Jones Beach stop of Ozzfest was nothing to laugh about. Sticking with the classic Priest that dominated setlists in the 1980's, nearly every song done for the near-capacity audience (who stood there in the midst of thunder, lightning and rain) should've been recognizable to any casual metal listener. On-stage effects and props were kept to a minimum - aside from the expected (and well-received) mid-show appearance of the infamous motorcycle - but the note-perfect belting of Rob Halford helped to keep your mind off such. While most reunion tours are obvious cash-in attempts, this was truly a band in top-form. I consider myself fortunate that my schedule and bank account both afforded me the chance to catch this year's Summerfest, even if only two days of festival action were caught. Showing the quality of bookings over the span of the annual Milwaukee festival, The Response and The Obsoletes played impressive sets simultaneously on opposite sides of the grounds. Giving the crowd a spirited Hot Rod Circuit cover in the midst of powerful tunes like "Until Then" and "Becky Slater For President," the three guitar-wielding members of The Response took full advantage of their cordless instruments with incredible stage presence. Less humor-oriented and more "about the music," The Obsoletes served as the perfect opening act for The Old 97's. Consisting of former members of Yesterday's Kids and The Benjamins, a void of alt-country had been filled by this power-trio, who have undeniable anthems in "The Town That You Grew Up In," "The Other Side Of America" and "Down To Milwaukee," which are all on Is This Progress?, a previous Moving In Stereo recommendation. Even if two-thirds of the lineup is from Appleton, talk about a band with hometown pride!
From The Stereo
A standout band that's picked up activity after a brief hiatus, The Plus Ones have an interesting album in the forthcoming Oh Me Of Little Faith. Expanding on the one-sided sound of It's A Calling- which included "All The Boys," as prominently featured on The O.C.-- a lot of pop-rock variety is to be expected from Oh Me; some of which thanks to the vocal interplay between bassist/songwriter Joel Reader and new guitarist (and Jersey native) Alexis Melnicki. In the meantime, updates and song samples from the Bay Area crew can be found on My Space Action Action features former members of The Reunion Show, Count The Stars and Diffuser yet doesn't sound much like any of those acts. Don't Cut Your Fashion To This Year's Fashion, which carries a September release date on Victory Records, is a collection of songs that alternate between dark, synth-driven dance-rock and cynical punk-pop. To these ears, unforgettable tracks are "Instruction," "Postal Cure" and first single, "Drug Like". Nikola Sarcevic is best known as the voice of Sweden's Millencolin but Lock-Sport-Krock may not appeal to the same audience as Pennybridge Pioneers or Battery Check. With a melancholy folk-rock vibe, Sarcevic forgoes puns and calls for unity in place of sincerity, heartache and saddened reflection. Mostly acoustic and nearly percussion-free, this could be what early fans of Dashboard Confessional had been craving a few years back.
If you have news to report for the next edition of Moving In Stereo, press releases and all other correspondence for Darren Paltrowitz should be sent to [email protected].