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"PH101's 3rd CD"

Kinda eerie, kinda funky, very cheesy...PH101's "Love Songs from Area 51" are more like psychedelic chants filled with anxious effects than actual music. I'll be honest- this CD scared the shit out of me. I really don't know if that's what PH101 had in mind, but I'm sure they wanted to come across as eccentric...and maybe even downright weird. Especially in their song "Area 51." The effects give it a creepy aura- the kind of music used in a cheap sci-fi flick. I did like the use of the keyboards, as they added a jazzy kick to their frantic/progressive/insane?? rock. I'm still not sure what to make of it all....
-Daina Kazmaier,, c.9/1/00

"Some Words from Jim Yester"

“Rick, this is some of the wildest stuff I’ve ever heard…definitely not what I expected…”
- Jim Yester, Songwriter and Singer for the Legendary ‘60’s band, the Association, upon hearing Love Songs From Area 51, May, 2002
- Personal E-mail

"The Germans Weigh In"

When this critic was asked for his comments about this CD, at first I thought it was the most memorable record I ever heard.
After I listened to it several times, I was convinced it was as described "a rare mix from Bombast and Schrullingkeit", from which it would be natural to acquire such a recording.
Now, regarding progressive rock, this record arrives only at its outer edges, but there are several other considerations that make it an interesting prospect: A really screwed-up text about the aliens, singing Christmas songs, and the kidnapping of a woman (Area 51), or the absolutely dramatic dreams with true black humor (Ebola Woman). As other things go, it rocks pretty well in some spots.
PH101 musically plays their own opinions, a turned-on mix of pop rock and jazz, musical elements of classical symphony as well as Zappaesque moments and a Latin touch to very listenable solid parts of the music.
As a crowning achievement, there is also surf rock (Surf N Buddha) which is of a different kind. A few things worth listening to Soli and Gitarre [most likely this means the lead singing and guitar] and saxophone, which gives this music its edge. As far as the latest comparable bands are concerned (Talking Heads and the Tubes), the strength from "Love Songs from Area 51" lies, without a doubt, in the musical packaging, which sometimes is funk or rock and is constantly pushed forward. As I said before, in regards to progressive rock, this CD is only on its outer most edges, but it earns PH101 points for originality for unusual composition, which stands on its own.-From the German Fanzine "Progressive"
Translation by Lisa
- "Progressive" (German Fanzine)

"A Brazilian Opinion"

"The excellent cd's of PH101 are here. The music is beautiful (with Heart and Electric Light Orchestra's influences). Excellent female voices and crazy keys/ electric guitars. The theme of the third cd (the UFOs and the aliens of the Area 51) is great. We love it. We will do a great radio diffusion here immediately ."
-Osmane P. Ribeiro, prog show in Musical FM 105,5 MHz).

- FM 105.5 in Brazil

"More About "Love Songs from Area 51""

"New Jersey Prog rock act is hyper, hyper, hyper. Fast-paced tunes, lots of piano and keyboards at a breakneck pace. These guys are all over the place !", c.7/22/00

"Surf'n' Buddha"

"Now, at first I thought this was the strangest thing I ever heard, so I listened again and I confirmed it. The first song sounds like it could be some sort of TV sci-fi theme. The next song has everything weird one can do with music, vocals, and more. You need an open mind for this one."
-Aquarian Review of "Surf'n' Buddha" b/w "Area 51" single
August 27, 1997, "The Scene" column
- Aquarian Weekly

"PH101's 2nd CD - Hostage Heart"

"Another band with a lot to say is PH101 from Milltown, NJ. I guarantee you've never heard anything even remotely like the kind of '90s-sounding-art-pop these guys play. Their CD Hostage Heart, put out by Saturday's Child Music contains seven strange and beautiful songs with a lyrical content as weighty as it is poetic...any band that can incorporate thoughtful words and imagery, gorgeous melodies and a completely unique style into their music is worthy of respect. And PH101 most certainly is.
-Chrissy Rosettie, East Coast Rocker, Review in 10/31/95 'InterNation' column
- East Coast Rocker

"Some Words from Herbie Hancock"

“I don’t understand some of this rock stuff sometimes…I don’t see what he’s getting at…”
- Jazz Immortal Herbie Hancock, upon listening to the Hostage Heart CD in 1997.
- E-mail


"Is Something Wrong Here ?" (2005 - Release Date 9/2005)
"Love Songs From Area 51" (1999)
"Hostage Heart" (1995)
"Philosophy 101" (1993)



The release of PH101’s fourth CD, Is Something Wrong Here? is the culmination and maturing of a unique style of songwriting and performing that began in 1991, when the music world was a much different place than it is today. A vivid illustration of dysfunctional America in the Age of George “Dubya” and 9/11, the songs on Is Something Wrong Here? reveal flashes of a nation racing “like lemmings to the ledge,” mindless of the abyss.
Brainchild of songwriter/producer/keyboardist Rick Lewis, PH101 has been recording since 1991, performing since 1994, and defying categorization the entire time. In long-standing partnership with owner/engineer Eric Rachel at Trax East Studios in South River, NJ, PH101 has long been able to sustain a spirit of innovation, which is reflected in its recordings.
PH101 has performed extensively throughout the New York / New Jersey Metro area, from the East Village to the Jersey Shore, with many steps in between. PH101 has garnered US college & commercial airplay in 48 of 50 states, all Canadian provinces, and have sold records internationally in Japan, Brazil, and Europe. Their online presence, through various websites, has elicited over 10,000 downloads, Internet radio airplay, and critical acclaim.
PH101 has been host to a number of performers, going through various band lineups, but the current incarnation of the band has been together for three years. Through this particular collaboration, PH101 has hammered out a sound that is bluesy & soulful, yet retains its progressive spirit of daring and innovation.
Heather Christian, an accomplished songwriter in her own right, has become the focal point of PH101’s new sound, since joining the band in 2002. Native of the New Orleans area, PH101’s drummer, Frank DiOrio, and guitarist, Peter Beckett, are both veterans in the NY/NJ club scene, and both have impressive resumes as studio and live performance artists. Always right in the pocket, Frank has played in comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay’s touring band, and has been a sideman for Felicia Collins (guitarist for “Late Night with David Letterman”). Peter has worked with Marcus Miller, and both Peter and Frank were in Peter Beckett’s fusion band, Magic Pill.
Bassist Brian LaRocque has been with PH101 since the earliest of days, and has been a guiding light for the band throughout its existence, taking a leadership role in the band’s arrangements, performances, and logistics, as well as being a kickass bass player. Brian studied extensively with Gary Van Scyoc, veteran session man, and bassist for John Lennon in both Elephant’s Memory and the Plastic Ono Band. Brian possesses the unique ability to see the potential in new music, and to help bring it to life, an essential talent in PH101.
Rick Lewis, founder, principal songwriter, keyboardist, and producer for PH101, has been writing and performing music since the early ‘70’s, and boasts a long resume that includes work as a sideman with the likes of the Atlantic City Expressway, Dave LaRue (of Dixie Dregs fame), LA session man Bill Bonk, and Jim Yester (of the Association, writing “Along Comes Mary,” among many other things). Rick has also worked as a studio session man for various local acts (Room Eleven, Link Larsen, OS101, Joe Condiracci, Project Mercury, Glen Closer, etc.), and as a producer (Maximum Jack, Deep Release, Laya Fisher, and Gutter Ballet, among others). A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, in Music Theory / Comp, Rick has worked hard to forge a unique musical sound for PH101, building on the foundation of his creative influences (Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, Joe Jackson, ELP and Warren Zevon, to name a few).
A PH101 CD is something to be experienced, rather than merely listened to, and a PH101 performance has the ability to transcend the usual fare of generic musical “product.” Don’t miss either.