Michael Gross and The Statuettes
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Michael Gross and The Statuettes

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"Michael Gross and The Statuettes "Dust & Daylight" s/r"

If you enjoy indie pop at all, there's a chance that one or two of your new favorites are on the new EP Dust & Daylight by Michael Gross and the Statuettes. I know, because it happened to me. The bright resonance of the guitar and the glimmering backdrop of the rhythm section provide the perfect setting for frontman Michael Gross to impart his heartfelt lyrics.

Hailing from Utah, the Salt Lake City-area four piece melds elements of pop with a barely palpable taste of country in the first track, "I've Been Wrong Before." The droning background keys, coupled with the back-of-a-warehouse echo on the guitar tracks and the elegant simplicity of Benjamin Johnson's bass lines, adds a dreamlike effect to the piece that gives credibility to the sincerity of lyrics, such as "This little light is gonna shine/ Shine until the morning comes again."

Second track "Stone Face" adds a mysterious flavor of jazz influences with the sparse, syncopated drumbeat provided by percussionist Matt Glass that falls to the background when the vocals break in at the beginning with the demand, "Have some faith in me, honey/ Have a little hope that I'll come around." More than the first track, the feeling is that this song introduces the listener to Gross with a bit more familiarity, as his voice is more stark in the absence of heavy instrumental surroundings, yet the resonating guitars of Gross and James Kelly continue and provide more of a showcase for the words. The introduction is illustrious of Gross's talent as a vocalist, though, and gives support to a long-time belief of mine that if you can sing well without having to sing loud, you've got something going.

The remaining four tracks are power-pop gems crafted by the band, with help from Aaron Hubbard on keys, that mix the genre standard of songs about love, as in the selection "Novocaine" with the reflective everyman stocktaking of "Life in the Middle." The extra seventh track is a hidden treasure that is best listened to with your eyes closed. It typifies that quality of good songwriting that makes you, the listener, relate to the artist by picturing the images it invokes and recognizing them in your own relationships. A
-Jason Neubauer

RIYL: The Maxtone Four, The Apples in Stereo, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - PLAYBACK:stl

""Dust & Daylight" Michael Gross and The Statuettes"

"... 'Dust and Daylight' is a solid debut that has a retro rock charm and overall fun vibe - very cool for summer! 'I've Been Wrong Before' is the clear outlier here, but 'Novocaine' and 'You Can't Get What You Want' are becoming more enjoyable with each spin."
-Bill's Music Forum - Bills Music Forum

"Michael Gross and The Statuettes"

Michael Gross just gets better and better. In another lifetime he held down guitar and vocal duties in The Brobecks before breaking away with Let’s Become Actors. And while both projects left a trail of memorable songs, Gross wanted to write material that better reflects his creative sensibilities. With the Statuettes—version 2.0 includes James Kelley, Benjamin Johnson and Matt Glass (who, by the way, takes amazing photographs)—he’s crafted a tight little album whose appeal is instant and lasting. Dust & Daylight adds a bit of twang to the group’s signature pop, which carries a slightly uneasy tone beneath the jingle-jangle flow. The six-track EP is flawlessly produced with instrumentation that downright shimmers around Gross’ heartthrob delivery. Wow. This is fast becoming one of our favorite jams.
-Jamie Gadette - Salt Lake City Weekly

"Low End High"

Michael Gross & The Statuettes conned Matt Glass into playing with the band. The local pop-rockers recruited him to “fill in” but the short-term gig turned into full-fledged membership.

“Our plan worked,” James Kelly jokes. “Unintentionally.”

Of course, diabolical trickery had nothing to do with Glass staying put—his bandmates simply, conveniently, never brought up his departure. “We’re glad he decided to stick around,” Kelly says.

Glass, an accomplished photographer/ drummer, is certainly a keeper, but he’s in good company. He originally hooked up with Michael Gross in 2007, recording demos in his basement with his longtime friend under the name Let’s Become Actors. Gross had just left The Brobecks after a four-year tenure to refocus on personal motivations that no longer jibed with the group’s professional vision. “Our styles just drifted apart,” he says.

Gross and Glass forged ahead, churning out rough demos on a digital 16-track recorder Gross purchased for $1,000 in 2003. “It’s probably worth $100 now,” he says. “Nothing fancy.”

“Nothing fancy” is sort of Gross’ calling card. Raised in Davis County, he now resides on a farm in Hooper with his wife, whose family once ran a commercial dairy. He’s never sampled the town’s colorful cowboy bars—places likely to include the name “rowdy” on their marquees. Gross is shy, but approachable and genuine—just like his music.

Impulse & Exports, his latest release with The Statuettes, is six tracks of surging, straightforward pop with a glistening electronic edge pulsing beneath crystalclear vocals. They took a risk recording the EP at home, but after working with a professional to produce their previous EP, Dust and Daylight, the DIY approach just couldn’t be ignored.

Time is money, and when you’re paying an engineer by the hour, the creative process is understandably compromised.

“Dust and Daylight isn’t bad—it’s just not what it could have been,” Gross says. “We didn’t have the money to keep going.”

And that’s where “nothing fancy” comes in handy. Armed with Gross’ trusty 16-track recorder and Adobe Audition—the wallflower to Pro Tools’ prom queen—they achieved a high-end sound with low-end means and zero concrete deadlines.

“If we’d wanted to record every day we could, knocking out something like this in a couple of weeks, but we took our time and spent three to four months just writing it,” Gross says, adding that much of their material takes shape during jam sessions, with each member contributing to a song’s formation. It helps that the band actually gets along. Kelly and Gross describe their working relationship as dedicated, but drama-free. They take the music, but not themselves, seriously. No individual member fights for the limelight or puts his high-maintenance agenda above the band’s needs.

For Gross and Kelly, the music has always been the easiest part of making art. Now they can focus on that aspect without personal conflicts tainting the end goal, which is in this case achieving “Wilco-level” success. Like Jeff Tweedy and Co., Michael Gross & The Statuettes would love to sell enough albums to quit their day jobs.

But in an industry only partially driven by online buzz, success is easier to come by on the road—and touring isn’t as risk-free as it once seemed.

“The last thing we want to do is play for two people,” Gross says, adding that he doesn’t expect them to sell out every gig. They just want to make it worth their while. “The dynamic has changed. Now that’s we’re older, it doesn’t make sense to throw money down the drain. We need to approach this the right way.”
- Jamie Gadette - Salt Lake City Weekly

"Michael Gross and The Statuettes - Keep Driving - Song Review"

“Keep Driving,” the opening track to Michael Gross and the Statuettes’s new EP “Impulse & Exports,” has a lot of punch. Its driving guitars and attacking drums leave little time outside of simply enjoying it. With wispy vocals layered on top of loud and fast drums, it’s easily comparable to Nada Surf or maybe even Dinosaur Jr.

The lead guitarist tends to send the song into a more spacier realm which only complements the chorus’s lyrics, “It’s getting clear to me, you’re just a memory and I am just an afterthought.” Simple, straightforward, fast paced rock and roll with rather lovely layered vocals lend themselves for somewhat of a hit on the hands of Michael Gross and The Statuettes. - Indie Rock Reviews

"Michael Gross and The Statuettes "Impulse & Exports" Review"

Last summer Gross & his band put out the fine EP Dust & Daylight and together with this new EP, they've released the equivalent of one kick-ass full-length. If you liked Dust & Daylight, you'll love this one and Gross & Co. have further refined their heartland-rock-with-a-touch-of-Americana sound. The noirish "Keep Driving" sets the tone with its late-period Replacements rock style, and the moody yet urgent "On and On" is equally outstanding. And for those familiar with Gross and his earlier solo disc Tales From a Country Home, he offers up a full-band version of that disc's "No Good", and it's anything but. I can wait for a full-length if Gross & Co. are content to crank out a top-notch EP every six months or so.
- Absolute Powerpop

"Michael Gross and The Statuettes "Impulse & Exports" EP Review"

These fine, prolific lads from Utah have just released a brand new EP, the follow up to their very good "Dust and Daylight" EP (review here). Right away you'll note the higher quality production - the boys really seemed to have stepped it up in this department. While the record sounds glossier, fans will be happy to know that they've maintained their indie rock sensibilities in the songwriting. For those of us wanting a bit more development on the melodic side, we'll have to keep waiting.

The progress between EPs is remarkable - the guys deserve a lot of credit here, and if they continue to grow at this rate, anything is possible. This time around, they've incorporated some subtle vintage synths (late 70s/early 80s sound) that mix nicely with the modern guitar tones. Gross is sounding more comfortable and confident and the band's chemistry is beginning to boil.

I enjoy the more immediately infectious cuts, my favorite being the catchy and dynamic "On and On", which starts off with some breezy strumming and builds into an excellent driving pop song. "Holy Smokes" and "Silence Is A Killer" are two more notable tracks. Longtime fans will want to take note of "No Good" as well; it is a re-make of one of Michael's earlier songs off his solo effort, "Tales From a Country Home" tune. "Impulse and Exports" is brimming with enthusiasm and is yet another blast of indie pop rock fun from Michael Gross and the Statuettes.
- Bills Music Forum


-“Dust & Daylight E.P.” (2009) was the first release by the Statuettes. It was met with much success locally, and received healthy praise on national music blogs, websites, and zines. The Salt Lake City Weekly described “Dust and Daylight” as “Twangy pop that has a slightly uneasy tone beneath the jingle jangle flow."

-“Impulse & Exports E.P.” (2010). The second release by the Statuettes. In this E.P. the band replaced the alt-twang sound found on their previous EP with reverb soaked guitars, and sweeping synthesizers that fit nicely into a moody pop/rock package. Though recently released, "Impulse & Exports" has already garnered critical acclaim in the Salt Lake City music scene, as well as on national internet blogs, websites, and zines.



Michael Gross and The Statuettes are an American Indie Rock/Pop band from Salt Lake City, Utah that formed in the summer of 2008.

From 2003-2007, Michael Gross was the guitarist and one of the singer/songwriters in the band The Brobecks. After his departure from that band and a stint in a band called Lets Become Actors, Michael recorded his first solo album in the spring of 2008 entitled "Tales From a Country Home.” A short time later, Michael formed a full band around this project. The Statuettes were born.

Michael Gross and The Statuettes released their debut EP “Dust & Daylight” in June of 2009. It was met with much success locally, and received healthy praise on national music blogs, websites, and zines. The Salt Lake City Weekly described “Dust and Daylight” as “twangy pop that has a slightly uneasy tone beneath the jingle jangle flow."

With their follow up six-song EP entitled “Impulse & Exports” (released in January of 2010), the band replaced the alt-twang sound found on their previous EP with reverb soaked guitars, and sweeping synthesizers that fit nicely into a moody pop/rock package. 2010 hopes to be a good year for the band, as they plan to tour, record new music, and other lovely things