Electro Rock quintet, Stereo Off, released their 5 tracked EP earlier this year. I am not one to have expert nor intermediate knowledge in Rock n Roll, nonetheless Electro-Rock. The Killers, Simple Plan, any CCM rock band and all the pop rock bands that were popular in the early 2000s, is as far as my expertise goes in rock music. That’s just a little disclaimer before I go on about my opinions of this Brooklyn-based band.
Stereo Off is a fairly young band that formed in late 2012. It started out as a solo project by lead vocalist, Sebastian Marciano. It soon blossomed into a quintet, adding Niall on the bass, Steve on guitar, Darren as the percussionist, and Bridget on the keyboards. These musicians hail from different musical backgrounds including New York and London, which makes the sound unique. Like a melting pot of sounds.
“Photographs”, or better known as, “Zombies”, is the first single from the EP. This song needs to be on The Walking Dead soundtrack and too bad it wasn’t released in time for Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies (since the music was the only interesting thing about the film). And I say this not because it’s titled ‘Zombies’ but because the musical style compliments the beloved macabre genre. Distorted bell sounds and a colorful use of re-amped effects–proves that simplicity goes a long way. I’m drawn in by their clever use of absence. Whenever the bass takes a break, the guitar riff fills in the space, and for a moment, you take a break from bobbing your head too.
“Bullet Time” sounds like a different band. I checked the song to see if it was a new Good Charlotte song…until the instrumentation after the first verse. Then it started sounding electronic dance-David Guetta. Then Sebastian’s vocals surprised the hell out of me. In “Photographs”, his vocals matched the somberness of the subject, here he shows off his rockstar vocal range and you can’t help but sing a long. “Effectual”. Oh drum pulsed, funky bass, “Effectual”, you are one of my favorites. This song also shows off unique vocal abilities. The phrasing of his lines proves that these guys can bring about electro distortion in ANY instrument, the voice is no exception. I don’t know why this song sound so Prince to me, like eighties-purple-1999-modern-Prince.
“The Thrill” brings back the simplicity from the first track on the EP. This song can easily squeeze itself into The Breakfast Club soundtrack and it won’t sound out of place. This is by far my favorite of the bunch. It’s modern enough to be appreciated today but timeless enough to travel in time without a problem. Oh, the sweet keyboards, man. “M i 6″ also sounds like a different band but there’s always a split second of familiarity to assure you, “Yes, this is still Stereo Off” and it’s often the keyboardist who brings me back to that familiar place. Sweet keyboards again.
There’s really nothing else to say about these guys. They’re awesome. They’re able to sound different yet familiar in every track, staying true to their style. As the line goes in “Photographs”, “the crowd is always so attracted to sound” and indeed we are.