2. Honey Mixture [MP3]
3. Buttercup [MP3]
4. Sight for Sightless
5. The Dull Before
6. Cat Bong [MP3 clip]
7. Amateur B.S. [MP3 clip]
10. Here [MP3 clip]
Hailing from New York City by way of outer-space, Stoley P.T. create rambunctious, noisy power-pop bursting with bare-bones guitar-and-drums grit and swirling, synth-filled sweetness.
Led by Stoley, a scummy little singer/songwriter turned guitar zero with a resume boasting such credentials as mass-market radio DJ, MTV contest winner, and regular Late Night with Conan O'Brien bit actor, and rounded out by drummer Rob Draghi and bassist David Jr., Stoley P.T. is a power trio bringing fourth an aggressive yet casual brand of rock and roll that kicks you in the face 'til you bleed and then rubs your back and asks if you're feeling any better.
Their latest release, Lesson #1 (In Music We Trust Records), is a 10-song slice of life explosion that chronicles despair, hope, death, loneliness, rejection, and ultimately decision-making in a universal, easy-to-relate to way, whether Stoley is singing about not being good enough ("Amateur B.S.") or the beauty in sadness ("Snowflakes").
The voyage begins with "T.Y.S.", an emotional mid-tempo chug-chug that sets the stage as Stoley sings "Good morning chest pains, it's nice to have you back where you belong" and builds into a heart-stopping scream-a-thon.
"It's the first song on the record I suppose because it serves as a manifesto of sorts," explains Stoley. "It kind of sums up this twisted funny/sad perspective of life. The first line I guess initially comes off humorously, but it's actually really sad that this dude is waking up with chest pains every day, and even though the song starts out kind of pretty with keyboards and horns and stuff, it ends up as just pure rage, and pure rage is always just one step away from true beauty if you ask me."
This happy/angry tug-of-war is repeated throughout, especially on the album's first single, "Honey Mixture", a song about escaping death and just accepting what life gives you.
"Life can be a drag," laughs Stoley. "We try to cover that up with drugs and lies, but you may as well ride it out to its inevitable conclusion. And why not express that with a happy pop hook so we can all sing along and share in the comfort of communal hopelessness? And why not drench that happy hook with hyper fuzz guitars and noise so we can still get our kicks while we all choke down the sugar together?"
But the album isn't always about depression, there are a few songs, including the bubbly, boppy "Buttercup" and the psycho, happy "Sunshine", which assure the listener everything will be all right. Not to mention the rousing toe-tapper "Cat Bong", a roof-raisin', barn-burner about taking substances to make the depression go away, or not taking substances, as it were.
"When I don't feel good, my first instinct is to take something," Stoley confesses. "But sometimes you've already taken so many things that the only thing to do is not take something and just wait for everything to work their way out of your system. And that is a sucky time that to me can feel like a country song played too fast."
Closing the album is "Here", a song Stoley chose for a reason.
"It's a last song if ever there was one," Stoley says with a smile on his face. "It's all over. Nothing is left but the residue of a good time. But, if you've been paying attention you know that everything you wanted has always been there in front of you and the only thing keeping you from it is yourself. So maybe next time you'll get it right."
Once you've been inside the world of Stoley P.T. you will never be the same. Their schizophrenic musical outlook and stoner buddy wisdom will infect your soul and bond you forever to your favorite new band.
So welcome to the Stoley P.T. land of subdued violence and ultimate friendship.
Enjoy yourself. You deserve it.
Stoley P.T. on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stoleypt
Check out the official Stoley P.T. website at: http://www.stoley.com
ALL PHOTOS BY: Jodi Lennon