Friday, July 30, 2010

I Know You Know Y Stereo Is Gonna Be Huge!!

I promised you guys that I'd have an amazing new group for you even though I've been busy lately, and with these guys I know none of you will be disappointed. Lately, the groups that have made up the most recent waves of posts here on New Rock News 43 have been alternative-rock, screamo-punk, and hard-rock-inspired. While all those groups are amazing, and continue to rock me out when I listen to them, sometimes you just need a change of pace and sound to keep you on your toes. If these guys aren't that change that keeps the blood flowing, then I don't know what is.
Y Stereo is a serious pop-punk band straight of of Connecticut and thirsty for some action. I actually came across these guys by chance, and for that I just feel lucky. A simple power-trio comprising brothers Jonas Friedman (lead vocals and guitar) and Ari Friedman (bass and vocals), and close friend Samson Ouellette (drums and vocals), Y Stereo's sound is forged in the flames of punk ethic and dripping with brilliant pop sensibility, and will drive you insane because it's one of those that you're soon to be hearing everywhere. But who could blame these guys for that; their sound is something so catchy, so colorful that it makes everything seem more vibrant and alive. The sick cover of their debut album doesn't hurt at all either.
The first track I listen to from Y Stereo's debut album, What's Real Anyway, is what immediately hooked me to them, and continues to be my favorite track on their whole setlist. "I Know You Know" immediately grabs you from the start, as Jonas Friedman provides a note progression that's catchy and just itches to be hummed. Right from the beginning, too, I love Y Stereo's lyrics; they're clever and fun, things which this song benefits greatly from. The vocal interplay between the brothers Friedman and Ouellette is fantastic: Jonas on lead vocals drives the song ahead full-force, and Ari and Ouellette on harmonizing vocals drive that full-force blast to new heights. It's like the voices are all around, and that's something I love. Another thing I can't turn my ears from is Ouellette's drum beat, which among other things is simple and contagious in the best way. Locked with Ari Friedman's thumping bass lines, Ouellette's drums provide "I Know You Know" with an infectious groove that will take you over in a second. In my opinion, Y Stereo doesn't even need another song to blast them off; "I Know You Know" is one track that fans will scream for at shows and record label execs will be humming in the elevators at work. An incredible song, and a no-contest five-star track if there ever was one.
The Y Stereo guys continue the energy with "The Real You," a track whose guitar and bass are front and center. Jonas and Ari Friedman kill in this one, providing a double-dose of melody and rhythm in earnest as Ouellette's drums are busy pounding away in an indie beat that fits in a quirky, comfortable way with the pop-punk sensibilities of the song. Above all, this song has a great bridge section which keeps me guessing at every turn. The rhythm play between Ouellette's skins and Ari Friedman's bass will most certainly be the under-appreciated aspect of this song by most people, but not by me. Ari's bass lies only slightly under Jonas's guitar, but for those who listen carefully, his lines here, especially during the bridge, are fun and odd in the best ways, and most certainly add the secret ingredient to this song. Fantastic.
I had a hard time picking the third track that I knew I wanted to review here. Not because these guys had too few, but because there were too many great tracks to choose from. You know it's a good sign when a band has too many good songs for a writer to choose from. Though I thought "Cigarettes" or "Your Moment" might be the deal-breaker, I knew the moment I got to "Further Away from Me" that that was the one I was looking for. This one is just fantastic from start to finish. Jonas Friedman starts us out with a guitar note progression that is, in every sense of the words, colorful and romantic. The notes just resonate so amazingly, and when his vocals come in it's just a whole new ball game. But Ari Friedman's bass is here too, and his lines contradict his smooth harmonizing vocals in the best way. The juxtaposition Ari Friedman provides between rhythm and melody is commendable, and this song has already made it on to my Favorite Songs of the Week list. Ouellette, though, is determined not to be left hanging, as his drums beat me up, harder and faster. The rolls before every chorus drive me like a hurricane, and this guy just knows how to provide the right beats to compliment the Friedmans on guitar and vocals.
If that was it, I would end right here, but it's not. I don't think that the talent of these guys could be overstated at all. Forming in just 2009, Y Stereo has what I like to call a meteoric rise, having had over 10,000 downloads of What's Real Anyway in just under one week from its release. Week two bumped that number up past 15,000, and it's still rising I bet. These guys drip in talent and artistic vision, and I will relish being able to say "told ya so" when they're line Hot Topic shelves with their merch and play the Kevin Says stage at Warped Tour. Y Stereo is coming, and ain't nothin' this side of the universe gonna stop them. No way, no how.

Sounds Like: Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, The Academy Is..., Taking Back Sunday

Key Tracks from What's Real Anyway: "I Know You Know," "The Real You," "Further Away from Me," "Cigarettes"

Check out Y Stereo more at:, and!/pages/Y-STEREO/138384797499?v=wall&ref=ts

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