pseudoboss
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pseudoboss

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Hard Rock

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

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"pseudoboss album review"

It’s been a long-standing belief of mine that you should listen to a record all the way through at least four times before you make up your mind about it. With the self-titled release from pseudoboss I did just that and found myself immediately captivated by the dynamic intensity of this power trio. I feel they have a Classic rock meets atmospheric alternative sound with a splash of gasoline. The band is known for their high energy shows so I was looking forward to seeing if they could capture that in the studio. With the help of producer Ian Watts they have recorded an album that has all the power of a live performance and a few wonderful surprises.

Recently in an interview on Portland Radio Project, Noah Stroup (lead vocalist/guitarist) explained to me that they tracked the record in six days and did the majority of it live. From a production standpoint this was absolutely the best call they could have made. You can hear our interview on Portland Radio Project here: http://prp.fm/drop-session-pseudoboss/

One aspect of this album that I really enjoyed was the attention to detail and nuance in the guitar layers. Justin Gibson (lead guitar/backing vocals) plays a soaring anthemic solo on “Bombs Away” and has moments of brilliance all throughout the record. I loved the softly picked harmonics during the intro of the song “Fallen Solider Part I” and then the unexpected appearance of a piano in “Fallen Solider Part II”. When listening to the album with headphones on there is a sense of intimacy with the record that can get lost in a live setting. One of the songs you find this vibe on is “I’ve Been There”. In this song, Charley McGowan (Drums) plays an alluring and almost haunting piece during the verses on his toms. This was followed by hard-hitting cymbals and relentless intensity on the choruses, bridge and outro.

By the third or fourth time I was listening through I found myself looking forward to certain parts of the record where the guys have done a wonderful job of layering vocals. They do so in a way that compliments these well crafted songs. At times the vocals are no nonsense and in your face like on the track “Make Her Scream”. They used a texture on Noah’s voice that reminds me of the classic Delta Blues sounds from the 50’s and 60’s. Then they showcase a larger sonic quality on “Devil May Care” with a sweeping melody and harmonies during the bridge and outro. It’s clear when you hear these songs that the band put a lot of work into their individual parts and how they come together. Noah’s melodies and lyrics propel you through the songs where you can hear the honesty in his voice. The members of pseudoboss have poured their hearts into this project and it shows.

The only complaint I have about the album is that I wish there were more songs for me to enjoy. However the nine songs on the record individually stand on their own but together make very captivating and exciting record to listen to. This one will be in my personal playlist for months to come. - Sounds of PDX - Luke Neill


"pseudoboss record release with Spirit Lake & Ramble On at The Wonder Ballroom"

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I don’t know if anyone can truly quantify what goes into an event like a record release. There’s the promotion of the event, getting all of your merchandise ready, and making sure you can play the set in your sleep. You also need support from a promoter (J-Fell Presents), a great street team and of course your fans to help create buzz. But when you really think about it Noah Stroup, lead vocals/ rhythm guitar, has spent years crafting most of the songs on the new record. Then take into account the endless hours of rehearsing, writing, producing, and recording and it can seem to be an overwhelming process. The time had come for the band to share their new album and enjoy the fruits of their labor. pseudoboss give us a debut record and live performance that reflects the passion and commitment of these artists.

pseudoboss opened their set with the intense synchronicity that the power trio is known for. So much so that drummer Charley McGowan managed to knock the beater off of the kick drum pedal during the first song! Hats off to Charley who kept playing around the stage crew and entertained us at the same time. Despite this small technical glitch the band was firing on all cylinders and didn’t miss a beat! Justin Gibson, lead guitar/backing vocals, played awe-inspiring solos to a now swelling crowd. He was clearly enjoying himself as he and Noah continued to volley riffs back and forth. The music has well thought out time and dynamic changes that wowed us all. I know a few people standing by me had not heard the band before and they were taken back all night by the smart and catchy songs. Noah delivered his vocals with commanding force all evening and had everyone in the room singing along during “Make Her Scream”.

pb2I know there were a lot of first time listeners in the room that quickly became diehard fans like the rest of us. One of my favorite moments of the set was when they played “Fallen Soldier Part I & II”. I enjoy listening to these songs back to back on the record because it feels like one cohesive piece. This was even more evident when hearing them live. There is a flow in these two tracks that tells a story both musically and lyrically. It was a captivating segment of the set and helped me appreciate the songs even more.

Charley and Noah create a complex, driving rhythm section that kept us all wanting to see what was going to happen next. This allowed Justin to display his heart felt and precise lead parts while singing strong backing vocals all evening. It seemed like the trio became tighter with every track as they tore through the majority of the new album.

There is a ferocity in their live show that is balanced out by the warm and inviting presence of the members on stage. I saw a true connection between the audience and pseudoboss by the end of their set. The band hit the Wonder Ballroom with a wall of sonic dominance and a fitting introduction to the record! All in attendance were treated to a night of music that should make our city proud. - Sounds of PDX - Luke Neill


Discography

pseudoboss by pseudoboss, 2016

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Bio

“Just a kick-ass album from a kick-ass rock band.” – Producer Ian Watts, The Magic Closet recording studio

Don’t let the name fool you. pseudoboss is the real deal.

The trio, led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Noah Stroup, pulls from classic rock influences but their sound is a fresh, technical, melodic and ultra high-energy combo that is already packing venues and keeping crowds rocking all night.

Stroup, a multi-talented songwriter with a voice that’s a dead ringer for Robert Plant (his other project is as lead singer for Led Zeppelin tribute Stairway Denied), originally launched pseudoboss in Corvallis in 2008 with fellow Stairway Denied member Chris Harver and teenage whiz guitarist Conner O’Shea. The band developed a cult following but split in 2010 when the members moved to different corners of the Northwest.

Two die-hard fans, Justin Gibson and Charley McGowan, never forgot the epic sound. Gibson and McGowan joined forces previously in the heavy metal band Honest to Empire. Gibson performed with Stroup at a charity show in Corvallis and McGowan collaborated with Stroup to promote the Corvallis music scene. They both hoped to see pseudoboss re-emerge – and wanted in.

“There is this swagger the band had and the energy and songs were just so good,” Gibson said.

“I posted on Facebook, ‘Dear lords of rock, please bring back the band pseudoboss. They know not their potential to the world,” McGowan remembers.

The lords of rock did one better for McGowan and put him in the band.

When Stroup moved to Portland in 2014, he set out to recreate the magic. He tapped the furiously fingered Gibson (guitar, vocals) and storm of energy McGowan (drums) to kick around old pseudoboss songs, practicing above an old bookstore in Oregon City. The new pseudoboss was born.

The band pulled gems from the original pseudoboss catalog, along with new songs written by Stroup over the course of a ill-fated but musically productive relationship, and collaboratively rearranged them.

The trio is heavily influenced by classic rock bands including Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen, which is evident in the surging, melodic sound. Stroup, a mental health therapist by day, also brings his philosophy degree and sense of storytelling into his lyrics. He said he wants his lyrics to tell a story that leaves the meaning up to the listener.

As a guitarist and mechanical engineer, Gibson draws heavily from his metal background and is masterfully technical. “I’m pretty intentional about what I do,” he said.

McGowan, also a mechanical engineer, brings a technical background along with a visceral force to the drums. He calls pseudoboss the “perfect blend of talent and drive.”

The new iteration of pseudoboss is tighter, more focused and more powerful than ever. The band recorded their first full-length album at The Magic Closet in Sellwood with producer Ian Watts (Minmae, Ape Machine). It is currently being mixed by Tony Lash (Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee and founding member of Heatmiser).

Now armed with new music and their first full-length album set to be released in January 2016, pseudoboss is priming the fuel lines for ignition.

Band Members