Fivestar Riot
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Fivestar Riot

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Signature Reviews for Better"


Some songs just capture your attention from the first beat. This was one of them. Crisp drum sounds. I think the tone of the guitars sound a bit raw and could use some adjusting on the distortion settings. I would compress the bass a little more. I am hearing a little buzz, but that could just be internet related. The vocals are GREAT! Reminds me a bit of Counting Crows. (that is a very good thing!) I think the song is well written and well thought out. It has a good hook and sounds great. Good Job guys!


Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Drums, Melody, Mood.

Nevada, Texas
March 26th, 2005


Original rock music! How refreshing! This isn’t your average hammer-on-the-guitar tune, there is some real arrangement and thought behind this piece that I thought was excellent. The strongest aspect of this track is the back-up vocals - there is truly excellent harmony here. The drum work is also fascinating to listen to, with a few inspired guitar riffs that I didn’t expect but enjoyed. My only reservation is that towards the beginning I felt that the vocals might have been a tad bit off-key, but that all changed in the later part of the song when the song speeded up, and I especially enjoyed the chorus, I can’t say how much I enjoyed the chorus. Hope to hear more from you guys!

Extra Credit: Drums.

Princeton, New Jersey
March 22nd, 2005

"Signature Reviews for Mishchief and Mayhem"


The guitar work in the intro and verses is fantastic! Neat walkdown line there, love the counterpoint on the other guitar. It actually made me smile.

The bass sound is superb, well played, EQ'ed, compressed, miked, and mixed, not a moment out of place. I'm reminded of good punk here.

Vocals are great! Love the other voices coming in around 2:40 or so, you don't expect it and it evokes those feel-good songs of the birth of rock and roll, nicely done in this context. This singer is relaxed and earnest and

The ending is silly but I don't require perfection here. It's the only rough spot in an otherwise fantastic production.

Actually to get back to the production, now that I'm listening to it again, everything is well miked and mixed...this is very pro and if the person who did it isn't actually a professional studio producer, they should be, this is great work, very tight production. My pet peeve is always too much reverb, you have to be dry as a bone to escape my reverb comments; but this one has so little reverb you think it doesn't have any, like makeup on a beautiful woman. This also means everyone was playing well and that the engineering work was solid as brick, so congrats on that score as well.

The sparing use of keys really puts a nice background wash on this song. Drums are remarkably well played as well, great hi-hat work throughout and just a great ear for what's going to work.

Excellent job everyone, for what it's worth. I really enjoyed this song tremendously.

Extra Credit: Guitars, Drums, Production, Mood.

T Lawson
W Hartford, Connecticut
March 26th, 2005


Ohhh the intro...i love how everything is on it's own thing, then it all comes together at :35! That melody part is fantastic...and vocals just kicked in...and they are amazing! I don't want to leave out the drums, because those are fantastic. May want to work on the harmonies..I can tell they're there, just a little rough. That is a fantastic chorus, too!

Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Bass, Production, Melody, Mood, Smoochiest Love Song.

Anniston, Alabama
March 27th, 2005 -

"Fivestar Riot Radio Play"

Congratulations, we have reviewed your music and have named you a Gold Artist! Excellent rock / alternative songs. We love the dynamics and energy in your music. Excellent musicianship and recording quality. As a Gold artist we will add your music to the appropriate Gold Artist music stations where our listeners and the listeners of our affiliate sites will be exposed to your excellent music, and we will add our Gold Artist logo to your artist page. We have added you to our Alternative and Rock GOLD radio stations; you should begin to receive airplay immediately! We screen thousands of songs by indie artists and name the best artists, Gold Artists. We base our review on recording quality, songwriting quality, and musicianship.

The number one characteristic that stands out in our mind about your music is that your songs strike the difficult balance of being musically complex, yet melodic and traditional enough to appeal to the masses. The musicianship is exceptional throughout - we especially like the lead and backing vocals on both songs, including the cool counter harmony in "Better" chorus, as well as the vocal harmonies in the chorus of "Mayhem" and the backing vocals in the second verse of "Mayhem." The bass part and rhythm in "Better" is very creative. The recording quality is excellent, and the 2 guitar counterpart in the verses of "Mayhem..." is very cool.

Greg and Manny

March 23. 2005

Radio Crystal Blue

Hi..Dan Herman of Radio Crystal Blue here. I liked your CD and am willing to give it airplay on my show. Thanks for sending a good EPK via Sonicbids.

Now in its 5th year, Radio Crystal Blue presents an outstanding collection of indie and up-and-coming talent from most genres, most locales, and the Internet at large.

Rock, Acoustic Rock, Blues-Rock, Alternative Rock, Solo-Songwriter, Folk, Folk-Rock, Roots-Rock, Electronica are the suggested genres. There is no true format. The program is heard every Sunday evening on Live365 7pm till 1am or so EST. The songs are chosen spontaneously, and the artists are chosen for rotation days in advance, adhering to a loose rotation. The rotation is based on the amount of touring and publicity of same from the hundreds of artists that announce upcoming shows and releases of CDs. The music is presented in a personable, entertaining and flowing format, much the way it was presented years ago in the days of freeform radio, a true lost art. I greatly focus on both independent-label musicians and unsigned, plus local up-and-coming acts nationwide and in Europe. A typical show contains up to 60 songs heard, and with repeated listening, one can be guaranteed to hear music from 10 new artists a week. Archives of shows, along with older playlists, are accessible at


Your music has been received by Indie Artist Radio and The Indie Limelight Radio Show. Your music has been added to the daily rotation of music at Indie Artist Radio, and also has been sent to the program manager for The Indie Limelight Show.

Once our site updates, normal time is every Saturday, your music will then also be made available for request on Indie Artist Radio.

You can also signup for the newsletter at where you will be informed of the current weeks lineup for the show. This will help alert you at any point that your music is included in a show. We attempt to alert artists personally, but this is a great way to learn more about the show every week.

Thank you for your hard work in music!

The Indie Limelight Show

April 05, 2005
IndieKid Online
Podcast #12
Sorry about the delay, but we've finally finished #12!

Show's a little bit longer tonight and we just decided to do four bands instead of three tonight for some odd reason, but hey, it's all good! Tonight's our first night of being a affiliate! Hopefully you enjoy the show...drop us a line on the comments, email or on Podcast Alley!

Superbeing - "Living Out My Dreams"
Moments of Promise - "Promise"
Your Name In Lights - "Kill the Ghost"
Fivestar Riot - "Mischief and Mayhem"

- Fivestar Riot

"Review of Unfamiliar Sky EP"

Fivestar Riot overturns expectations on their five-track EP "Unfamiliar Sky" - in more ways than one.

I thought I was going to hear a paint-by-numbers post-grunge band before I played the album. However, that wasn't the case presented with the opening title track with its skittery electronic beats and robotic drums a la Radiohead. It's a sneakily deceptive way of introducing the group. But then it abruptly ends, giving way to "Better," which is the '90s-styled alternative rock I had been anticipating from the beginning.

And Fivestar Riot do it well.

Fans of Sunny Day Real Estate and even the Foo Fighters should find solace in the group's sonic terrain, melodic guitars busting through the speakers with intense adolescent emotions. Vocalist Charlie Cote has a passionate voice, and his sincerity brings depth to his lyrics.

Aside from the too-short "Unfamiliar Sky," Fivestar Riot have a good chance of performing well on modern-rock radio. Should they decide to do a full-length album, it'll be a record I'll toss on the player immediately.

author: Adam Harrington, Whisperin' & Hollerin'

Fivestar Riot, "Unfamiliar Sky"
by Mark Beckett

The Police, meets the Beatles, meets Simple Plan, meets Linkin Park

Real good material. These guys are serious about playing well and sounding great. I like the rawness of their playing, the complexity of their arrangements, the power of their voices, especially the lead vocalist, and their use of effects. The band already rocks as is. With the right producer and management, plus some minor tweaking, this band will make it BIG..

I like the lead vocals a lot. The guitarist is nasty {I like}. The bass is right in the pocket too. The background vocal harmonies are niece and sweet. The drummer is one inspiration away from being awesome, but he needs to tighten up a little more [see Least Favorites}. The second song has commercial hit. written all over it. The third and fourth songs kicks you square in your,... well, you know.

Least Favorite:
Although I like the concept of the first song, the drummer fell a little out of synch with the drum machine. I also noticed he dragged a little in the last song too.

Areas to develop:
The CD needs to be re-mastered to sound more radio-ready. Also, re-take songs one, and five. Do this, and the band will attract the right A&R people. Do they have a producer? Finally, I would turn the drummer on to Matt Cameron who worked with Sound Garden {hear him on "Outshined"}. Also, Fivestar Riot should upload their music {once its cleaned up} to, just to see what type of response they generate.

Fivestar Riot's music is very ambitous and the band has a great future with the right guidance.

Mark Beckett
Fluid Audio
March 12, 2005

Fliggil Feedback

Fivestar Riot-
Thanks for your submission via SonicBids. I just finished going through your info and checked out the audio samples - I really liked what I heard a lot - Better is a great song. Please let me know if you have a copy of Unfamiliar Sky that I can check out for a review. Thanks again, best of luck-

Regarding the Song "Through The Rain"

amazing, experience

this song blew me gave me chills when the whole band came in. this song has so many great qualities...the drum intro was great..very cool way to start the song...the guitar riffs were intricate and heavy...they sound great doubled like they were in the beginning. the vocals are great...lots of emotion. and i love the presence of two singers, with the whole scream then sing sorta thing...that's very rad and you guys pulled it off pefect...this song was one of the best and i'll be listening to it for a good while to come. thanx

Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Guitars, Melody.

- NTL_guitar
Bloomfield, Indiana

Brilliant drumming

This reminded me of Biffy Clyro, the way it was sung and the harmonising. I really liked some elements of this song - the drumming was absoloutely fantastic! it was varied and exciting. The guitar was also good, I particularly liked the bit just at the end, had a really good sound to it. I also liked the way it started, starting with drums and then building it up, and I liked the way it finished, not dragging it on but just stopping. I didn't like the shouting, but I personally don't like shouting in songs so that could be me. I'd have preferred it without it. I didn't really like the keyboard bit near the end, I didn't really feel that bit fitted in with the rest of the song. But generally a pretty good song.

Extra Credit: Guitars, Drums, Beat, Best Potential Movie Soundtrack.

- mildred_the_yak
Boresville, Somewhere, United Kingdom
April 3rd, 2005

Unfamiliar Sky is an enjoyable little EP in the vein of older Juliana Theory, Motion City Soundtrack, and Midtown. A little more technically proficient than many bands that play this style - I wouldn't be surprised to see these guys get picked up by Vagrant or Drive-Thru with a little bit of touring under their belts… that is, when they’re old enough to drive. A really cool tidbit about this record is that it was conceived and recorded during vocalist Charlie Cole’s battle with cancer… and that deserves some props.

Added: April 7th 2005
Reviewer: Adam Rahuba

Tracklist: Unfamiliar Sky - Better - Through the rain - Mischief and mayhem - Celebrity

Fivestar Riot is an US based rock band. Formed in the summer of 2001, they started as a pop-punk act but they developed a more mature sound. They compare themselves with bands like Jimmy eat world and I have to agree with this. This EP is their third release and with great guitarwork and good vocals they succeed in creating a refreshing rock EP with some pop influences.

The first song is an intro with great guitarwork. The other songs are very melodic and catchy. Also the drums are great thanks to the crispy drum sounds.

In general, this EP can appeal to many people.

scheef edge

Opening up with the title track, the gloriously short 'Unfamiliar Sky' - Five Star Riot kind of lull you into a sense of what is coming next.

It's just a preperation for the fanastic 'Better' - for some reason this song reminds me of Fleetwood Mac. YOu know sometimes you hear a song and first time doesn't do it justice. I've had this CD for a while now and I'll be honest, first time round I thought it was just well executed. Well recorded and performed. But the fourth listen is where it's at.

I think you should always go with your instincts - mine was to let this CD grow on me.

So yeah ok - its not all to my taste - the track 'Through the Rain' still doesn't grab me. A bit too cluttered for my tastes. But well put together and the right audience will go nuts for this. Live I bet its one of the high points of Five Star Riots set. Just not for me.

'Mischief and Mayhem' - comes next and is nicely paced. I'm four tracks in and have this sense of early 90's college rock - hey man that's no bad thing. Not with the current crop of cartoon pop punk and gurning nu metal.

What do Five Star Riot do? They don't do the expected - they bring a sense of musicianship to the table that appeals to me. Its a weird mish mash of styles - old and new. Some of the guitar takes in Van Halen in parts?

Maybe I'm too old to appreciate it or maybe I'm the right age to appreciate I dunno.

Celebrity has some really nice touches and is a great track to end on.

Stand out track for me is definitely- 'Better' -

This has it's own sound - great backing vocals and a lead vocal with enough personality and edge to it to stand out. And it has some great hooks flickering in and out.

The other tracks don't live up to this track - unfortunately. Not an easy task given that 'Better' is a peach of a song.

But I do believe good things will come from this band eventually. As a first offering not bad at all. And worth a go. I mean this is just one guys opinion at the end of the day.
13 Apr 2005 by untidy mind
Planet of Sound

fivestar riot
"unfamiliar sky"

Formed in 2001, fivestar riot is the product of Charlie Cote (lead vocals, keyboard), Alex Cote (drums), Paul Guck (guitar), Zach Milne (guitar) and Ethan Waddell (bass). Inspired by the likes of Green Day, Weezer and Death Cab for Cutie, they work off of similar ripping riffs, driving drum tracks and smart, catchy lyrics. Their third and most recent release, 'unfamiliar sky', is a 5-track EP that deserved to be developed into a full album.

The opening title track, “unfamiliar sky,” is the shortest, smoothest and sweetest track. With direct and meaningful lyrics like “I think we’ve found your cure / I don’t know where we’re going / It doesn’t matter,” the band speaks out not only to lead singer Cote’s battle with cancer, but to anyone who may be caught in hard times.

Following is “Better,” working off a more traditional pop-rock style sequence with thought-out words about love and a great driving electric riff. “Through the Rain” hits harder and sports the best musical arrangement on the disc, although the screaming in the chorus kind of kicks you in the ears a bit compared to the smoother harmonies set up in the first tracks.

“Mischief and Mayhem (Sweet Sixteen)” features some great licks and one of the more in-sync drum tracks on the disc, though the lyrics feel a bit choppy at times. fivestar’s songwriting is short, sweet and to the point. What I’ve come to really like is that while most of the songs offer a straight interpretation with often very basic lyrics, they are definitely open to deeper readings. The EP closes with “Celebrity,” a funkier track with some fanciful keyboard work from Charlie. Mostly instrumental, “Celebrity” probably does the best job at showing off their musical talents - something that, speaking as a whole about the EP, makes you feel a bit cheated knowing that they have the ability to really explode on every track.

As a whole, unfamiliar sky is certainly worth a listen and hopefully will become familiar music in time. Their music is currently getting play through many independent online radio stations; with some fuller production and proper promotion, this band will be good to go.

By Matt Fisher

May 9, 2005

Fivestar Riot is one of the better new alternative-rock bands I've heard from the United States recently, and much of the credit has to be given to the group's heart-tugging songwriting. Instead of blasting our eardrums with a deafening and mindless rage, Fivestar Riot has put some thought into their lyrics. Singer Charles Cote can really carry a tune, especially on "Through the Rain" wherein you can really hear his wounded psyche. The interplay between Cote and guitarists Zach Milne and Paul Guck, bassist Ethan Wadell, and drummer Alex Cote is polished yet spotaneous. This is a band that is quickly finding its own sound. While I don't see them finding too big of an audience here in the UK, I'm sure they'll be deservedly embraced in their native country. Good luck to them because this is a fine CD with loads of promise.

Review by Barry Andrews

I predict a riot. Oops, that's another band. Fivestar Riot is a youthful (in the sleeve picture they look like they're in their late teens) American alternative pop/rock group that has absorbed quite a bit of post-grunge from the likes of Incubus and 3 Doors Down. While that won't win them votes in the dogmatic ears of aging rock critics, Fivestar Riot aren't trying to court East Coast hipsters in black trench coats. No, they're simply a well-meaning band with an evolving musical chemistry, an appealing vocalist and a collection of straightforward, heart-on-the-sleeve rockers that would be embraced by the WB's teen dramas.

While the band's material hasn't risen to the level that their talent promises, most of the songs on this five-track EP are memorable enough for me to reward it with a thumbs up. I say "most" because the title song, the first track on the EP, seems half-finished; it's an experiment in prog-rock doodling that quits on itself just as it starts to build up and become interesting. Perhaps on a full-length, Fivestar Riot will complete the saga in a George Lucas-ish manner. After that, it's smooth sailing for Fivestar Riot as they deliver the goods: four songs of emotional turmoil that seem like "Dear John" letters from home.
Kyrby Raine

Dear Lenny,
Hey! I'm writing you back on our recent argument
about who's the better band, Green Day or Fivestar
Riot. It didn't seem like you saw how bad Green Day
really is, so I've compiled three reasons explaining
how they are bad and in what ways. Maybe after reading
this you'll see why Fivestar Riot is the better band.
My first reason is lyric content. Have you heard
some of the things that Green Day says? I'm surprised
that your Mom even lets you listen to them. My Mom
doesn't even let me talk about them in the house!
Swearing and partying are clearly two of their main
topics, as shown in the song "Holiday." Fivestar Riot,
on the other hand, has very clean lyrics, and they
sing about better things than being drunk, as the song
"Better" shows. So Lenny, as you can see, Fivestar
Riot has way better song content than Green Day has.
Reason number two: Green Day seems to have a big
problem with America and how it's run while Fivestar
Riot never says anything bad about the government. in
fact, I don't think they even mention the government
in any of their songs. Green Day even has a song
called "American Idiot," in which they say they're not
part of a redneck agenda. They're inferring that they
aren't part of George W. Bush's agenda, and they call
it a redneck agenda because he's from a redneck state.
I don't think that will go over well with anybody,
except people who are anti-Bush. You want to know what
I think Lenny? I think that if they have such a big
problem with America, they should just leave! They
make it seem like they want to. Here is part of a line
from the song: "Don't want to be an American Idiot/One
nation controlled by the media...It's going out to
idiot America." Once again, they prove they have some
major issues to deal with, like America!
My third reason is that Fivestar Riot looks
positively at life, while Green Day expresses being a
loner. In the song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," they
say: "my shadow's the only thing that walks beside
me...Sometimes I wish someone out there would find
me/Till then I walk alone." They're basically saying
they'd rather live with shadows than with others. I
think that's a pretty sad way to live life. Fivestar
Riot sings about being with others and the Holy Spirit
in the song "Through the Rain." This line sums up the
whole song: "I think I'm gonna go/Out into the rain/I
can't change your mind but it won't take you long to
find that you can't live without it." When it says "I
can't change your mind," they're talking about friends
who are reluctant to accept the Holy Spirit but that
they can't live without him. Lenny this has got to
have you doubting Green Day.
As you can see, Fivestar Riot is cleaner, more
positive, and downright better than Green Day. One
more thing: Fivestar Riot is more inspirational
because the lead singer, Charlie Cote, has cancer and
he shows how a disease can't stop you from living life
to its fullest. So Lenny if you really are a true rock
fan, you'll see why Fivestar Riot is better than Green
Day. I hope this letter changes your mind. Talk to you
Your friend,
Ian G.

- Various Reviewers

"Breaking the Mold"

Your songs are cool as hell, they definitely break the emo-punk mold, I think they'll go far.

Tim Segreto
Indie Rock Artist
Albany, NY
March 27, 2005

i really like this band.
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 08:48:18 PM by daniel danger

ive said it before and ill say it again.

Fivestar Riot hail from Rochester, NY and play a mix of Alternative/Emo/Punk not unlike Armor For Sleep... These boys
have been around for a few years now, and just keep getting
bigger and better... Expect things from them one day... - Tim Segreto

"Reviewers' Picks Award for Better and Celebrity"


Track of the Day on 8Apr2005 in Pop Rock
#7 Best Drums in Pop Rock, all-time
Best Drums overall, week of 28Mar2005
Best Drums in Pop Rock, week of 28Mar2005
Best Bass in Pop Rock, week of 28Mar2005
Best Bass in Pop Rock, week of 11Apr2005
Rocking Track in Pop Rock, week of 28Mar2005


Track of the Day on 28Apr2005 in Emo
Best Guitars in Emo, week of 25Apr2005
Best Drums in Emo, week of 25Apr2005
Best Keyboards in Emo, week of 25Apr2005
Best Beat in Emo, week of 25Apr2005
Best Mood in Emo, week of 25Apr2005
Most Original in Emo, week of 25Apr2005
Rocking Track in Emo, week of 25Apr2005

"Reviewers' Picks Award for Mischief and Mayhem"

Track of the Day on 3Apr2005 in Emo
#10 Best Guitars in Emo, all-time
#18 Best Drums in Emo, all-time
#21 Best Beat in Emo, all-time
#9 Feel Good Track in Emo, all-time
Best Guitars in Emo, week of 28Mar2005
Best Guitars in Emo, week of 4Apr2005
Best Drums in Emo, week of 28Mar2005
Best Drums in Emo, week of 4Apr2005
Best Production in Emo, week of 28Mar2005
Rocking Track in Emo, week of 28Mar2005
Bitter Breakup Song in Emo, week of 4Apr2005 -

"Local band 'Fivestar Riot' enjoys success"

Why pay expensive entrance fees and travel great distances to hear a band when you can pay less money to stay in Rochester and hear great music from many bands?

Fivestar Riot is a band that had tremendous success since their first concert, two and half years ago. On their first concert, a Battle of the Bands with many other local bands, they were voted 3rd by 'Sloppy Don', the organizer of the event.

They received a cash prize, but the money was not as exciting an award as the prestige of winning 3rd for their first performance against many other bands.

Brighton High School juniors Joe Hsu, rhythm guitarist, and Ethan Waddell, bass guitarist, were in a band together in middle school called Censored and needed a singer. Joe Hsu invited Charlie Cote, currently a junior at Penfield High, to be the lead singer.

Charlie Cote had been teaching his younger brother Alex to play the drums, and Alex soon became the drummer for the band.

The group was still not satisfied, so Charlie Cote invited Zach Milne from his school to join the band as another guitarist.

The group of five went under the name of "Money for Galen" but after a while, they decided to change it and thus "Fivestar Riot" was born. "Being in a band is fun, but it takes a lot of hard work and time," said Joe Hsu. The band rehearses every week for about two hours, but sometimes more if they have a new song to rehearse, or if they have a show.

The band's creative process is simple: during practice someone comes up with something catchy or an idea, and the band starts the creation of a song from there.

They first create simple tunes and basic parts with the idea and slowly begin to elaborate with it to compose a final song.

Everyone mingles well and is always loose, so writing a song can easily be done without any quarrels.

As the lead singer, Charlie Cote writes all the lyrics while the rest of the guys chip in their ideas and point out musical errors. Having two CDs out already, the band still has plenty of time to make further decisions on what to do with the band. "We first got the band together for fun, and [that] still is what it's all about, except we now put more work into what we do," said Hsu.

It is too early for them to say whether or not they would continue their interest in being part of a band when they are older, but for now they all seem to enjoy playing together and having a great time.

Their second CD, "The Best Way Out is Always Through," was released in May of this year and the band considers it a major step forward in their development.

The band performs almost every Friday evening. Many supporters can be found at the concerts where CDs are sold as well as many other Fivestar Riot products.

For more information on location, time, and other information, check out the group's website at

John Nam
Associate Staff Writer
November 4, 2003 - Trapezoid Online

"Water Street Music Hall show a smash success"

On Thursday, September 26, the Water Street Music Hall was buzzing with energy. A multi-band show of punk-pop bands was being held there that evening. The show being held would encompass talent from beginning bands to established national bands, and all parts of the spectrum in between. The bands scheduled to play were FiveStar Riot, Down by One, Murdock, Punchline and Unsung Zeroes. I attended this concert and found it to be extremely worthwhile, the music talent and prowess far exceeding what I had expected of a local show.

The first band to play was FiveStar Riot- a Brighton-based local band composed of Penfield sophomores Charlie Cote and Zach Milne, lead vocalist and guitarist, respectively; Brighton sophomores Joe Hsu and Ethan Waddell, guitarist and bassist, and a Penfield 6th$ grader Alex Cote as drummer. I was blown away by FiveStar’s performance. Despite being the youngest of the performing bands by far, they matched and in some cases surpassed the other bands playing, exhibiting extraordinary talent beyond their years. Charlie Cote’s heartfelt singing, combined with well written lyrics and stage dancing conveyed an air of casual brilliance and self-confidence that many other bands present lacked. But singing is not the only thing FiveStar can do well. The thrashing and wailing guitars of Hsu and Milne accompanied Charlie Cote’s voice perfectly; while Waddell’s experienced bass playing added even more flavor to the band’s sound. Alex Cote, despite his tender age of 12, exhibited talent in drumming scarcely found in drummers twice his age. The combination of these elements and skills quickly won me over, making FiveStar Riot’s performance my favorite of the night.

The next band to play was Down By One- a local band hailing from Bergen, NY. The band was made up of Trev, KC, Nick and Chris. While FiveStar was a hard act to follow, Down By One played relatively well, busting out decent music with the added attraction of a dancing man in a Planter’s peanut man costume. While they seemed rather enthusiastic, the audience seemed more interested in throwing themselves at the Peanut (what is commonly called moshing) than really listening to the music. The audience had also dwindled a bit from its earlier size during FiveStar’s performance.

The next band was Murdock- a local band from a small town outside Rochester. The members included vocalists Steve and Will, guitarist Dug, and drummer Nate. Murdock had a somewhat softer sound than the previous two bands and while many people seemed to enjoy it, I found it difficult to keep my attention on them. They seemed rather casual and friendly, often pausing in between songs to thank people or bands. Despite their tamer sound, it was obvious to me that Murdock was a talented band and I enjoyed them.

The following band, Punchline, was incredible. They hail from Pittsburgh, PA and were touring with Unsung Zeroes. It quickly seemed clear to me that they really knew how to rock. Their members included drummer PJ Caruso, bassist/vocalist Chris Fafalios, guitarist/vocalist Steve Soboslai and guitarist/vocalist Paul Menotiades. They came onto the stage and let loose a stream of fast and powerful songs. Falfalios’ strong voice, supported by the backup vocals of Soboslai and Menotiades, was punctuated by the latter duo’s guitar playing and the skilled drumming of Caruso. This was by far the best band who had taken the stage since FiveStar Riot and I thoroughly enjoyed the time they spent onstage. I had been toying with the idea of leaving early until I heard them and I realized I had to stay for their performance and the last one yet to come.

The last band and most well known band to play was Unsung Zeroes, a national band based in Orlando, Florida. Their lineup was composed of Zach, Jerry, Josh and Jason. By far the most experienced and largest scale band present that night, they delivered a smashing performance, the lead vocalist’s great voice fitting well with the music being played. Unsung Zeroes also offered a large amount of merchandise at the show, ranging from their CD to shirts to buttons. They were excellent, as I had expected from a band of their caliber.

Water Street Music Hall, where the concert was hosted, appeared to be a great venue for these types of shows. It had a good quality stage and admitted minors, who compose a large portion of the bands’ fans. I saw great potential at the September 26 concert and look forward to seeing more concerts there and seeing the bands present there at different venues as well.

October 17, 2002 - Trapezoid Online

"Fivestar Riot is a Music 4 iPods Artist Roster"

Podcasting is quickly becoming the hottest new method of distributing music to millions of people around the world. Music 4 iPods is a podcast powered by, a popular music podcasting service that promotes musicians using a combination of podcasting, webcasting, syndication, and viral marketing.

Podcast subscribers receive daily downloads of music which can be automatically loaded into their mp3 devices with each podcast update. They don't even have to visit a website. It simply "shows up" on their system. - Fivestar Riot


Their third release, a five song EP titled "Unfamiliar Sky", was conceived and produced during the lead singer and song writer's battle with cancer, and conveys hope and optimism in the face of adversity. Unfamiliar Sky was recorded at The Illuminata and was engineered by Seven Head Division front man Brian Moore and Jesse Sprinkle of Poor Old Lu fame (Alarma Records & Tooth and Nail).

Songs from this EP are featured at and have received positive response. Songs will also air on WBER's Local Show and Radio Crystal Blue.

"The Best Way Out Is Always Through", recorded in 2003. Several songs off this EP received regular play on WBER's Local Show.


Feeling a bit camera shy


“Look up. It just might surprise you. I think we’ve found your cure./ Don’t know where we’re going; does it matter? Why do we need to be so sure?”

The only words from Fivestar Riot’s contemplative “Unfamiliar Sky” immediately strike the heart of the teen-age band. The title track from its 2005 release captures singer and songwriter Charlie Coté’s fight against cancer, while speaking to the uncertainty of anyone’s future. The lyrical power Coté offers throughout the five-song EP is bolstered by the band’s depth and originality. While other acts worry about their image and what gigs will score the most chicks, Fivestar is busy perfecting its sound. The band’s unique arrangements dash the “verse-chorus-verse” pop formula, and its songs feature enough catchy hooks and harmonies to keep you humming along. In contrast to the gently poignant “Unfamiliar Sky,” the hard-driving pulse of songs like “Better” and “Through the Rain” show Fivestar Riot’s ability to rev it up. With the third album of its young career, Fivestar Riot is set to make a name for itself beyond Rochester, New York. But if you’re looking for wanna-be rock stars keep searching, these guys just want to play good music.

Fivestar Riot's complex arrangements, high energy performance, musical talent and pop-sensibility set them apart from the average teen band, creating a unique, refreshing and memorable sound. Keep your eye on this young band as they have a bright future. Formed in the summer of 2001, the band started as a fairly typical pop-punk act taking its inspiration from Green Day, Saves the Day and Weezer. Since then, the band has cultivated a loyal following in Rochester, NY and has developed a more mature sound and compositional style, leaning more toward Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab for Cutie but maintaining it's edgier Saves the Day style.

If you love Nickelback, then you'll probably hate this band, but if you love Sunday mornings, then Fivestar Riot's a month full of Sundays. Some have described them as Saturday Morning Cartoon Rock and still others liken them to a mid-summer's drive sprinkled in light rain when one finds the ideal windshield wiper interval where both optimal visual clearance as well as minimal squeaking is achieved. Yes, Fivestar Riot is a lot like Rainex.