Mystery of Two
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Mystery of Two


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Mystery of Two @ Arts Collinwood

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Mystery of Two @ Arts Collinwood

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Mystery of Two @ Arts Collinwood

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



Mystery of Two (Exit Stencil)

By Christine Shuster

I never know what to expect when I’m faced with an experimental rock band. You could end up listening to virtually anything when you hit that play button. Cleveland’s Mystery of Two – on their second, self-titled album – are definitely making some goods sounds with their experimental rock. Singer/guitarist Ryan Weitzel’s captivating baritone vocals are a great compliment to the music’s darker sounds. With Nick Riley’s steady drum beats and Jeff Deasey’s rhythmic bass slamming, Mystery of Two provide a sturdy foundation to their songs. Their music continually propels forward, and it’s very easy to lose yourself in. Weitzel comes out of nowhere with talented guitar jams that grab your attention, and rip you from whatever thought may have been going through your head.

The opening track, “Gravity,” first pulls you in with its catchy guitar rhythm, and then let’s Weitzel’s vocals hijack your ears. Mystery of Two then hits you with some power guitar, paired with Weitzel’s vocals, strongly closing out this great opening track. “The Spark Is Sweet,” the fourth track on their LP, hooks you in with different musical layers, and looped repetition. It’s like a musical black hole that just drags you in. Another strong track is “Swimming.” This one has even more catchy guitar rhythms, over an almost subliminal-like bass.

Mystery of Two is one experimental rock band worth listening to. This album doesn’t disappoint on any of its tracks. The only downfall is that there aren’t more tracks of this.
- Jearsy Beat

The biggest mystery is why am I not following this band around like a shadow watching them make every note of audio from toothbrushing in the morning to book page turning as they doze off. This post -No Wave genius band is super ridiculously awesome and you should love them like your own children. - Roctober

Cleveland Release Show Review

Mystery of Two Live @ Beachland Tavern Cleveland 07.31.09

The record release show is a time honored tradition. After all the hard work writing and recording an album, and all that time waiting for the final mix, the album art, and test pressings, it’s an opportunity for a little relaxation with friends, family, and label mates as you kick out some jams from your latest release. It’s a pat on the back, “Hey man, how’s it going?” and a handshake from that friend you haven’t seen since forever. And if it isn’t your finest performance, well, f*ck it. You’ll shred your next show. There’s a new album sitting on the merch table, and you’re gonna celebrate tonight with shots of middle shelf liquor and beers not named Pabst, maybe Budweiser, or Lowenbrau, a micro-brew, or something with an English name, ’cause you’re not buying. That friend you haven’t seen in forever, he’s buying.

Mystery of Two didn’t get the, “It’s ok to go half-a**ed during your record release show, because you earned it” memo. Instead, the Cleveland, post-punk trio took the Beachland Tavern stage Friday night as if they had something to prove. Oh, they said their thank yous, and acknowledged the newly released, self-titled album back at the merch table, but when it was time to rock, they looked out at that crowd, packed tighter than your typical Cleveland record release show, and rocked more like an out of town headliner than a local band taking a victory lap.

From the onset, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Weitzel was intent on shredding. Through “Gravity,” “Repeat It,” and “French Rocking Horse” Weitzel would move nimbly, like Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd of Television, then turn on the fuzz, coming off like a Dick Dale/Kurt Cobain, surf/grunge hybrid. The rhythm section of Jeff Deasy on bass and Nick Reilly on drums, didn’t get the memo, either. Deasy, with his bass slung low, and Reilly, all arms and all action, were both fierce and channeled, proficient, agile, and energetic. By the time, Mystery of Two got to “Swimming,” another cut from their self-titled album, the boys had worked up quite a sweat. It wasn’t a particularly hot night, and I don’t think it was the middle shelf booze coming through the pores. They weren’t getting rowdy and wearing their moderately priced beers, either. It was from effort, an effort to prove those songs on that album were no fluke, and an effort appreciated by all those in attendance. - I Rock Cleveland

Mystery of Two Arrows Are All You Know As the first album from a band made of three musicians in their twenties, Arrows Are All You Know demonstrates the trio's amazing confidence in their style and cohesion in their sound - even though it's a skittish, jerky, and downright messy sound. The bands jangly chords and off-key vocals draw parallels to the Talking Heads and fIREHOSE. but Mystery of Two also have elements of jam and even a few seconds of wild guitar solos here and there. Sometimes it feels as if they might leave you behind to embark on a reckless jam journey in the name of originality or experimentalism or something, but then they show they're confident enough to stumble back into a repeated melody line. Still, you don't have to read too far between the lines to tell that Mystery of Two is talented behind their slobbery facade. As all members were born and raised in Cleveland, fellow late - 70's underground musicians from Pere Ubu also have a memorable impact, notably on Ryan Weitzel's frantic vocal. The best I can describe this voice is that sometimes it sounds like he doesn't have a tongue, and very often someone pinches him to provoke a yelp that slides up an octave in pitch. Getting use to it is worth it, though, and eventually it sounds like the semi-audible lyrics may even have some significance - in any case, the vocal melodies are often catchy, such as "Quick" and "Corner." Add in the energetic playing, and Mystery of Two would be a simply awesome band to see live. Clevelanders who have discovered this new band are nothing short of adoring, claiming that Mystery of Two is the sound of Cleveland - an endearing yet ghetto industrial city that hasn't progressed as much as other cities in the past decades. Fortunately, Mystery of Two sounds better every time you go back to them, and maybe they can transfer this quality to their hometown. - Lisa Zyga - Innocent Words

Razorcake MYSTERY OF TWO: Arrow Are All You Know: CD Man, Ohio really pumps this shit out: Pere Ubu, Peter Laughner, Home And Garden; the proto-punk stylings of Rocket From The Tombs, Electric Eels. And now Mystery Of Two. Mystery Of Two is cerebral post punk from two members of Home And Garden. This is working class rock?n?roll by three likely autodidactics, conscious of Tristan Tzara, Pere Ubu, and existentialism. In short: this record is D.O.A. to shops?too smart for pop and not flashy enough for the art school crowd. Their loss. Our gain. - Ryan Leach
- Razor Cake

Mystery of Two is the sound of Cleveland. It's the urgency of running red lights through the intersections where you'd rather not stop with full knowledge that big brother's traffic cameras have an electronic eye on your license plate. It's the paranoia of looking both ways, twice, as you make your way down darkly lit side street. It's the knowledge that the only thing the city seems to be good at these days is poverty and killing. Mystery of Two embodies all the sh*t we take living in this town, as we scratch our way by with resiliency, determination, and pride. Mystery of Two is real, gritty Cleveland.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the band Mystery of Two are most often compared to, Pere Ubu, also emerged from a tumultuous time in Cleveland's history. 1978 saw the release of Pere Ubu's first full length album, The Modern Dance, as well as the city's lowest point, when it entered default under the leadership of then Mayor Dennis Kucinich.

The tension that is so prevalent on Mystery of Two's debut, Arrows Are All You Know, comes from two sources: Ryan Weitzel's urgent and harrowing vocals and the dynamic duels between Weitzel's guitar and Lonn Schubert's bass. On close listen, it seems inconceivable that their sound doesn't devolve into a series of dexterous, meandering, and maddening jazz exercises. Schubert's bass lines scamper deftly up and down the scale in apparent indifference to Weitzel's lead giving the listener a sense that they are always teetering on the verge of collapse. It never comes. Instead, with the aide of drummer Nick Riley, and liberal usage of the great tension releaser, aka the effects pedal, these numbers are able to thrive when they transition between heavy jams and static soaked Rock 'N' Roll. - I rock Cleveland

Cleveland trio Mystery of Two has often been compared to their hometown forefathers Pere Ubu, and with the release of the band's debut album, 2007's Arrows Are All You Know (Exit Stencil), it is clear why. The tension and urgency of the music, the tumultuous lyrics and passionate guitar/bass duels and the gritty realism of the album may be due to a scrappy existence spent in a struggling, mid-sized city (as we Buffalonians know all too well), or simply to a deep and intellectual vision that is all too rare. Either way, Pere Ubu's influence?as well as that of fIREHOSE, Talking Heads and Television?is keenly felt. In-between new post-rock psychedlia and classic avant-garde, the anguished vocals of Ryan Weitzel meet well with drummer Nick Riley's rythms and Lonn Schubert's bass lines, creating a synergy within the weirdness. - Buffalo Art Voice

Harkening back to Cleveland's avant garage pioneers Pere Ubu ( partially due to members Ryan Weitzel and Lonn Schubert involvement in Home and Garden, an offshoot band for three of Pere Ubu's original members ), Mystery of Two tread a retro - inspired path often left untaken by other contemporary acts. Echoing the angular and spacey guitar work of Television's Tom Verlaine coupled by the sort of punctured singing of David Bryne a la a throaty Nick Cave baritone, they've crafted a sound refreshingly foreign to the contemporary new new-wave dominated by the interpretations of Interpols and Arcade Fries. - The Big Takeover

Mystery of Two's sound is the pure Cleveland. Several years in the making, this band's sound began as a 7" vinyl dream in bandleader Ryan Weitzel's mind. The trio's crosshairs are brusque avant-pop and indie experimental rock; the band's been compared to Pere Ubu in some circles. The flair this trio offers on their full-length debut Arrows Are All You Know certainly recalls David Thomas & Co. (odd rhythms, gritty vocals) but they owe as much to the Feelies, Pixies and fIREHOSE. Gritty, jangly and full of tension, Weitzel, bassist Lonn Schubert and drummer Nick Riley deliver an urgent and intimate sound that sucks you in and tosses you around like flotsam in some stormy Erie undercurrent. There's a lot musical pivoting that has gone into the group's 10 track affair; Weitzel's stormy vocals feel at once Waits- and Vedder-esque, decorating melodic jangle and careening noise-rock moments alike with aplomb. Schubert and Riley do well pivoting with him. If "Pitfalls," "Relics" and "Desolate" don't get you, set-stopper "Quick" surely will. - Cool Cleveland

One person's noise is another person's melody. Original experimental indie-rock act Mystery of Two succeeds in channeling its influences (Pere Ubu, Talking Heads and fIREHOSE) on its engaging debut effort, "Arrows Are All You Know." "I feel like this is a first steppingstone into that realm of being a professional band or whatever," said Ryan Weitzel, a partner in local label Exit Stencil Recordings. "We'd like to be touring the country as much as possible." Armed with the 10- track album, which features off-kilter rhythms, insidious melodies and coarse vocals, Mystery of Two appears to be headed for greener pastures. - Cleveland Plain Dealer 1


Color Me - Cassette / Digital EP (2010 Exit Stencil)

Self Titled - CD / LP / Digital (2009 Exit Stencil )

Gravity - Digital 7" - ( 2008 Exit Stencil)

Arrows Are All You Know - CD - (2007 Exit Stencil)

Self-Titled - 7inch - (2004 Exit Stencil)



At a time when music descended from “punk” and “new wave” has been reduced to it’s most rudimentary and lo-fi elements, Mystery of Two continues to pursue the original artistic aspirations of the genre---believing that art and music can be
unfamiliar and challenging, without sacrificing accessibility. Much like their musical touchstones—The Feelies, The Voidoids, Talking Heads, and Pere Ubu— Mystery of Two follow the axiom that the unconventional can be created through paramount musicianship, attention to song-craft, and sonic structuring.

Their self - titled follow up to 2006’s Arrows Are All You Know, finds Mystery of Two further traversing the boundaries of experimental pop, and no where is this more evident than in the masterful guitar playing of singer / guitarist Ryan Weitzel. Channeling Robert Quine (Voidoids) and Richard Lloyd (Television), Weitzel and cohorts create songs that convey a sense of urgency and immediacy, which at times evolve into turbulences reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr.

Vocally, Weitzel has been described as a baritone fusion of David Byrne and Nick Cave, which masterfully accompanies the dark sound-scapes and lyrical content created by the band. Steadied by the pop-gun drumming of Nick Riley and stalwart bass playing of Jeff Deasy. the palpable energy of this trio is captured in these “live take” recordings, which were later augmented by unique instrumentation
unfamiliar to their pedigree (violin, trumpet, slide guitar). As a result of their chemistry, energy, and effort, Mystery of Two succeeds in creating an updated aesthetic to the timeless work that emanated from the Bowery over three decades ago.
- Brandon Stevens