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New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


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"Billboard Magazine"

"(For the Posers...)is distinguished by its combination of straight ahead rock Instrumentation and smarter than usual lyrics. Statland proves to be an astute observer of society and human nature on well crafted cuts like "Wine and Roses" and "Euthanasia�--songs that demand to be heard in a live setting." - Billboard

"The Herald Times"

" honest, unflinching salvo from an undeniably talented artist" - The Herald Times

"The Big Takeover"

"The lyrics move across the guitars like snapshots of big city life, sometimes slipping into the shallowness of the gutters, sometimes flying between the skyscrapers, but always very street-tied and filling out the urban ache with some raw honesty and tight rhythms." - The Big Takeover

"The Aquarian"

"Preceeding the end of Thin Lizard Dawn, singer/songwriter Howie Statland's solo project, Low Flame, had already released two self-produced records, "Slave to the Party," and "Low Flame." The latter then served as the soundtrack to Statland's self-written and directed indie film of the same name. Soon after, composer Philip Glass took to a performance of Low Flame where Statland scored live instrumentation. Struck by Statland's impressive compositional and textural skills, Glass invited Statland to compose a score for a Ralph Steiner film. ...After his Glass-pioneered venture into the abstract, Statland's desire to return to the simple, viscerally gratifying arena of rock grew uncontainable. Low Flame soon became No Flame and then there was Smoke. Filtering Statland's J.J. Cale-like lyrical aptitude on the topic of Cocaine ("Lies," "The Letter," and the glam-infused T-Rex styled elegy "Pick and Choose"), through impact resistant, ripped on the edges, tensely fraught no bullshit rock-n-roll Posers is a crunchy, chemically twisted powerhouse. Angry, sometimes even enraged, the raunchy, simplified clang of NYCSmoke is the liberating sound of a liberated man." - The Aquarian

"Get Underground"

"Damn, NYCSmoke has mare grit than 320 premium grade sandpaper! Ever since I pressed play, I've had a hard time listening to anything other than this disc. "For the Posers" kicks up a gamut 'o dust with plenty of catchy hooks, equally matching acoustics, searing guitars, and screaming poetic lyrics." - Get Underground

"Detroit Voxpop"

If all you have to go by is “FOR THE POSERS,” and at this point it is,
it would seem like posing is something that Howie Statland doesn’t seem
to know much about. Every track on NYC SMOKE’s debut caries with it a
realness that is generally washed clean of your average big label/commercial music factory product. Here you hear an artist torturing and twisting himself like a sponge with each golden drop of inspiration qualitatively incomparable to anything out at the moment but
let us try anyway.

THE STROKES, also from NYC, would seem to share Statland’s affection for Punk-Rock cum Bob Dylan mix of blunt musical phrasing and soul ripping lyrical sentiment. Phrases like “My empire of doubt crushes everyone” and “If death is really God’s ocean, than we are his only wound” go beyond simple statements of personal understanding and insight to
something that anyone, anywhere immediately understands and more often than not, feels.

Like a needle scratching across a slab of vinyl, (remember that stuff?),
Statland’s voice absolutely refuses to be given equal billing as any
other instrument. Part Tom Petty, some Springsteen a little Lou Reed and
maybe even a cut of Kurt Cobain, Howie’s voice draws and delivers each
song with every ounce of its intended force. Yeah, someone else could
sing the songs but not nearly as well as they are here and it is all
because he so obviously and truly believes in what he is singing. The
man is no poser.

Best track? It is a toss up between the ZEPPELIN-esc “Pick & Choose”
and the three-minute raver “Balance” which despite its name never fails
to knock the listener over. Each has its own charm, the first is
slightly more paced than the rest of the disc whereas the latter is the
equivalent of mainlining cappuccino, but choosing isn’t necessary when
you get both and everything between the two on one damned brilliant disc.

By the end of “FOR THE POSERS” Howie Statland is likely to be elevated
in each listeners estimation to that of the genre’s best
singer/songwriters with the added joy of knowing this is only the
- Detroit Voxpop


"For the Posers" - 2001
"Wine and Roses"-2002
"Hearts and Stones"- 2005
"Musique Noir" - 2007
"Permission To Get Down" - 2008



"NYCSmoke is distinguished by its combination of straight ahead rock instrumentation and smarter than usual lyrics. Statland proves to be an astute observer of society and humanity."
--Billboard Magazine

"There isn't a better or more underrated rock band representing the Lower East Side right now than New York City Smoke. Ryan Adams wishes
he could be Howie Statland"
--IRT Magazine

"The lyrics move across the guitars like snapshots of big city life, sometimes slipping into the shallowness of the gutters, sometimes flying between the skyscrapers, but always very street-tied and filling out the urban ache with raw honesty and tight rhythms."
--The Big Takeover
Everybody knows New York City. But there is a part of the city that
not all outsiders are familiar with. WAY downtown, bordering on the
well-known East Village, is the neighborhood known as the Lower East Side.
This section of NYC is not filled with skyscrapers, but rather with five-story
tenement buildings, at times struggling to remain standing, since they were
built in the late 1800's. While the East Village (specifically St. Mark's Place)
is known as virtually "ground-zero" for the birth of punk-rock, the Lower East Side
is known as it's dirtier, rougher, noisier, and scarier (to most people) cousin.
Here, in the Lower East Side, the true artists come searching for the messed-up
place where they belong. This is where Howie Statland would wind up.
This is where Howie would set up shop.

A virtuoso musician since childhood on both guitars and piano,
Howie ran screaming from his kind parents and idyllic hometown
outside of Chicago, as soon as he could figure out how to get away.
He could not exist in this lovely world where he had been brought up.
Growing up to the sounds of Lou Reed, and The Who, and soaking
in their twisted messages and tales of hardcore urban experiences,
Howie knew that the dirty boulevard was where he belonged, so he went there.
And it damn near killed him. But a few years after sinking to the depths
of depravity in his new hometown of New York, Howie made a miraculous
discovery. He had spent many sleepless nights with his demons. But he
awoke from the nightmare that he had needed to dream. He had figured
this place out. He belonged here, and really, this place, the Lower East Side,
WAS Howie.

Howie was no longer a street urchin. No longer a strung-out rich kid
running wild through nights that rarely included going to sleep. He knew
that he had to get clean or he would be dead. And he managed to do it.
But that same edge was still a huge part of him, and he knew he somehow
still belonged in this rough part of town that chews up so many people
yet doesn't even bother to spit them out. He scraped, and he saved, and
Howie managed to eventually open his own vintage guitar shop, (the literally
world-famous Rivington Guitars.) Howie's love of guitars from forgotten
decades, and old, time-worn effects pedals, along with amps from as far
back as the 1940's, and warped reel-to-reel multitrack recorders would be
his salvation. Funny that this shop on the gritty Rivington Street in the
Lower East Side would not only finally provide a modest living for Howie,
but it would also help him put together the musical project he had always
dreamed of.

Not everybody in America knows Howie yet, but he could truly be called
a RockStar at this time in his life. Because Lou Reed knows Howie. Philip Glass
knows Howie. The New York Dolls know Howie. And EVERYONE in the L.E.S.
knows Howie. Howie has always been immensely likeable, if stand-offish.
His shy introspection might be mistaken for coldness, but this incredible artist
cannot be blamed for having millions of thoughts cluttering his mind, all
simultaneously crying to be let out, to be expressed through his only outlet;
music. Even with these ideas flooding his mind, Statland would strike up a
conversation with just about anybody. One day in the guitar shop he struck
up a conversation with Kevin Fox Haley, who was looking for a new bass,
and a new band, and New York City Smoke was born. Even if neither of them
knew it yet.

Kevin Fox also lived in the Lower East Side, and like Howie, he too
obsessed over the horrible state of much of current popular music. Kevin Fox
was raised on a steady diet of live shows by the Ramones, Clash, and Sex Pistols,
and this young musician too would come to know his idols personally. Kevin Fox even
once rehearsed on bass with Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Pistols.
This would figuratively put him in Sid Vicious' "spot!" Not bad for a kid who
was 8 years old when "Never Mind The Bollocks" was released. And much
like the Sex Pistols met by hanging around Malcolm McLaren's shop
in London, New York City Smoke was born out of Rivington Guitars in the
Lower East Side. Kevin who was frequently unemployed would spend
hours at Howie's sho