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"Spectrum Review"

Pittsburgh’s Cloverleaf offer swelling, upbeat melodies on their EP “Spectrum.” Full of heart and soul, the quartet focuses on piano-driven songs with instrumentation that blends seamlessly together for a sound that is more indie than emo. While “Spectrum” has no big hooks or choruses, Cloverleaf pound out soaring chords and bouncing rhythms. Not bad for an unsigned band who spent a week in the recording studio.

Sounds Like: Dynamic piano-driven indie rock

Key Tracks: “Dressed In Disguise”

- Corinne for

"Hear/Say Magazine Feature"

Who: Cloverleaf

What: Another great addition to the continuously growing group of pop/rock bands. Unlike the others, Cloverleaf has an immense amount of instrumental and lyrical talent.

Sounds Like: The Hush Sound and Something Corporate

Stand Out Single: “Dressed in Disguise” - Hear/Say Magazine

"Cloverleaf - Spectrum"

Cloverleaf experimented like an adolescent with hairstyles on their first album, juking between acoustic, piano pop and some sort of avant-garde poetry recitation (which, for the record, was actually one of my favorite tracks). On this EP, the band finally finds its voice without cracking. A distinct style emerges where they've learned to play more sensitively with different emotions, instead of just different sounds. Of course, the band tosses this "sensitive" thing out the window in the humorously macho "The Spartan" or when they dog on your friend's girlfriend in "Dressed in Disguise." But solid, attentive songwriting shows that the band definitely treated this record like their baby.

Despite the varied musical tastes and backgrounds of the band members, what's most promising about Cloverleaf is their ability to continually progress and change in a way that refines their sound instead of confusing it. Their current state? Energetic, piano-driven rock, more frank than, say, The Hush Sound and more fierce than Something Corporate. Though the piano makes for the muscle of the tracks, skillful guitar solos smack like claws to the rhythm section's thump and roar. This isn't your parents' piano rock, nor is this the band that just lets the nerdy kid tag along with his keyboard so he can feel better about himself. This is modern, straightforward pop rock that balances catchy melodies with candid bite.

The band writes that this EP is their "best accomplishment," a dream recording. It is the product of frustration, collaboration, perfectionism, tenacity. With each member more comfortable to adventure in their respective instruments (particularly the vocals) and in songwriting, this EP says Cloverleaf has been dedicated to doing everything a band should do in two years: mature. - Pauline Diaz for

"Cloverleaf releases sophomore album"

Concert-goers at tomorrow's Cloverleaf show at the State Theatre will be treated to two delights.

One is a chance to hear songs from the band's new CD, Spectrum. The other, band member T.J. Cornwall said, is a surprise.

"Make sure to stay for the whole show because there will be an awesome treat for everybody at the end which pretty much everyone likes," said vocalist and pianist Cornwall, who would not release the nature of the surprise.

Cornwall and the rest of the piano-driven pop rock quartet, made up of students at Penn State, will headline the Cloverleaf CD Release Show, which begins at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave.

"We're really excited about our first professionally sounding CD, Spectrum," Cornwall said.

According to Cloverleaf's page, the band spent seven months working on songs before it arrived at Dragonfly Studios in Haymarket, Va., to cut a CD.

Cloverleaf drummer Garrett Bogden said when the band members finished recording, they had about 15 songs to choose from, five of which made it onto the $5 CD. Prospective fans can sample two of the tracks on the band's MySpace page.

Cornwall said the band's creative process is two-fold and collaborative.

"I basically write all the music first and just hum where the lyrics would be," Cornwall said. "If everybody likes it, then we write the lyrics."

This won't be the first time Cloverleaf has rocked out at the State Theatre.

"Cloverleaf played here last year with the Clarks," said Kristy Cyone, marketing and sales manager of the State Theatre. "I was able to catch their act and they were fantastic, a different kind of rock but with a familiar type of vibe. It's not cookie-cutter rock."

The members of Cloverleaf hail from Pittsburgh, and they've been a band together for about three years, Bogden said. They've shared the stage with such artists as Yellowcard, Hanson and OneRepublic.

Along with Cloverleaf, the show will feature North of Nittany and Nick Stumpo.

North of Nittany brings energy to the stage because of its sense of humor and chemistry with the crowd, Cornwall said. That kind of fun mentality, Cornwall added, is missing in today's music.

"We like to have fun and we're really stoked about this show," said Pat Breen, guitarist and singer for North of Nittany. "We're a jam band and we're currently in the middle of a creative streak."

Stumpo will offer a solo acoustic set.

"I'll probably be doing one original song and some covers of Dave Matthews, David Gray and Martin Sexton," Stumpo said.

He said he's also in a band called The Other Brothers, and added that when he plays solo his style is different than when he plays with his band.

"I'm excited to play in the State Theatre," Stumpo said. "North of Nittany has some good jam-based stuff, and Cloverleaf has a really energetic up-tempo."
- Marilyn Perez for The Daily Collegian

"Pittsburgh Calling: Cloverleaf"

A capsule look at Pittsburgh bands making news.


Band: T.J. Cornwall (vocals/piano/songwriter); Ted Molnar (guitar); Jon Rigatti (bass); Garrett Bogden (drums).

Claim to fame: Biggest original band at Penn State, where they are all juniors.

Sound: Piano-based pop-rock. Think Ben Folds meets Yellowcard.

Formed: Two years ago, Bogden, from Belle Vernon, contacted Bethel Park native Cornwall after hearing his acoustic songs on MySpace. "We started playing together as a two-piece with an acoustic guitar and drums, and then the piano came into play a bit," Cornwall says. When they got to Penn State, they met Molnar (from Robinson) and Rigatti (from Peters) through Facebook.

First steps: They started playing shows and, in December 2005, recorded "First.Class.Mind.Ride," a debut of half-acoustic, half-piano songs. "At the time, we were so proud of it," Cornwall says, "but now we only play two songs off of the CD -- we really developed our sound."

Learning the ropes: The band grew a lot, the singer says, by playing live and opening for such acts as Switchfoot, Relient K and Hanson. "The songwriting really developed after failing many times. As a band, we all progressed so much with our own instruments and feeding off of each other musically. The more we play music with each other, the better we get."

So, Ben Folds meets Yellowcard?: "I think that's a fair comparison," Cornwall says. "Ben Folds is one of my biggest influences, but my songs aren't as literal as his, and there is more rock with Cloverleaf. You could say it's a Ben Folds meets Yellowcard meets early '90s pop-rock. Yellowcard is a bit more punk/emo than we are, but that's awesome. Those guys are great guys, too!"

Piano man: How effective can Cornwall be as a piano-playing frontman? "I think it gives the crowd something different than the two guitars, bass and drums lineup. I try to be as animated as possible and definitely try to interact with the crowd as much as possible. We try to let our music do most of the talking."

Release show: Cloverleaf will release "Spectrum," a new five-song EP, at The State Theatre, State College, at 7 tonight. Admission is $10. Go to - Scott Mervis for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


"First.Class.Mind.Ride." - March 2006
"North Fourth Street" EP - April 2007
"Spectrum" EP - March 2008




Cloverleaf is a piano-driven rock band which formed in the summer of 2005 in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. The band also calls home to Penn State University where each of the four members attends school as seniors. Cloverleaf has toured regionally and has played many shows which have helped them to build an impressive fan base. Their online presence is also established throughout the Myspace community with over 145,000 plays on their page to date. Cloverleaf dedicates a large portion of their time keeping in touch with their fans, promoting their music, playing as many shows as possible (2 in one night on some occasions), and writing new material. In their short history, the band has had the opportunity to share the stage with many established national artists including Hanson, Dashboard Confessional, Switchfoot, Relient K, The Gym Class Heroes, Augustana, OneRepublic, Yellowcard, Cartel, and many more. Some of the other band's achievements include being selected as a quarterfinalist in MTV-U's "Best Music On Campus" contest in 2006, having their music featured on the 2006 MTV-U Woodie Awards, and lastly being chosen to appear on the MTV Campus Invasion Tour in the Spring of 2007. Cloverleaf's new EP entitled "Spectrum" was released on March 30, 2008.


Spectrum is our autobiography. About one year ago, the four of us sat down to talk about the next couple years of Cloverleaf. We all agreed that we needed to make a CD the right way. After throwing the idea of selling our blood plasma every week for about $30 a pop to raise money, we thought making this CD might be out of reach. Somehow, everything fell into place and the dream of making the perfect CD became a reality.
Over a year of songwriting and about fifteen songs later, we narrowed the list down to the five tracks that made it on to Spectrum. Although it was hard to agree on everything, we somehow did. The songs on the CD explain who we are, what we went through, and what we'll become.
Over 7 months of writing, rehearsing, and getting the songs as tight as possible, we finally rolled into Dragonfly Studios in northern Virginia to be greeted by Scott Spelbring. After a week of 12+ hour sessions, we finally finished. Scott put more life into every song that we had, made us better musicians, and really taught us valuable lessons about being a band.

Spectrum is our best accomplishment. We stand behind this CD 100%. We did it the right way. No regrets. We will push this CD so hard to get where we want to be and to get our music heard.

1) Dressed in Disguise
2) Bend or Break
3) Head Up High
4) The Spartan
5) Wishing Well

Recorded at Dragonfly Studios (Haymarket, VA)
Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Scott Spelbring
Mastered by Jay at SSL Mixing
Artwork by Nick at Hidden Conspiracy Designs

Spectrum is available through iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, eMusic, and Interpunk