The High Irons
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The High Irons

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

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

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"The album begins with the western "Lovesick Hearts" that features an intense vocal performance. But the recording really picks up steam with the rockin' "Carolina." This cut could be a hit on Texas country radio with its rollicking melody and memorable lyrics. "Country Hardball" has much of the same charm. "Long For Your Touch" offers elements of British Invasion. However, another potential country chart hit is the Red Dirt-tinged "Message" with its easily hummable melody. The Traveling Wilbury-esque "Stranded On the Subway" is by far the best cut on the album. The track oozes musical authenticity. Radio program directors should take notice of this new Americana gem. The High Irons obviously traded up with its new line-up, because "Unusual Opportunities For Young Men" is a winner. In addition, three songs on the album deserve to bring these Brooklyn boys to Nashville and the country charts. " - Country Chart



"The album begins with the western "Lovesick Hearts" that features an intense vocal performance. But the recording really picks up steam with the rockin' "Carolina." This cut could be a hit on Texas country radio with its rollicking melody and memorable lyrics. "Country Hardball" has much of the same charm. "Long For Your Touch" offers elements of British Invasion. However, another potential country chart hit is the Red Dirt-tinged "Message" with its easily hummable melody. The Traveling Wilbury-esque "Stranded On the Subway" is by far the best cut on the album. The track oozes musical authenticity. Radio program directors should take notice of this new Americana gem. The High Irons obviously traded up with its new line-up, because "Unusual Opportunities For Young Men" is a winner. In addition, three songs on the album deserve to bring these Brooklyn boys to Nashville and the country charts. " - Eat, Sleep , and Breathe Music


A little over a year ago in this space we reviewed You May Already Be A Winner by Brooklyn twangers Katy Mae, praising the band's collective sound which bore echoes of everyone from Tom Petty and the Replacements to the Drive-By Truckers and Uncle Tupelo. En route to their next album, however, Katy Mae underwent a small lineup shuffle and ultimately decided to re-emerge with a new moniker.

Certainly "The High Irons" has a more evocative ring to it, although longtime Katy Mae fans need not worry that there's been an accompanying drastic sonic overhaul. With the songwriting/production team of Philip Doucet and Hans Gutknecht still at the fore, the quartet effortlessly essays deep-roots Americana alongside blazing powerpop and vintage seventies-styled singer-songwriterdom. Key tracks, radio-ready all, include the moody, yearning "Lovesick Hearts," with its flecks of twang and Johnny Cash-style boxcar rhythm; the insistent, Latin-flavored "Country Hardball"; the anthemic, raveup-worthy "Message" (as in, "I hope this message haunts you" - gotta love those kiss-off numbers!); and the harmony vocal-strewn, jangly country-rocker "Stranded On the Subway," which really needs to be sent down to Nashville to make the rounds ‘cos it's ripe for some superstar to pick it up and put it at the top of the charts.

What's in a name? In this case, The High Irons ring out loud ‘n' proud, and we're pretty sure that you're going to be hearing a lot more from the band in the very near future. - Blurt


"They sounded like Son Volt on one song, like R.E.M. on the next, and then the Jayhawks, Hank Williams and John Hiatt. They avoided imitation by constructing songs that were smart and gritty, and even a little endearing. When the band's drummer left to chase a woman out West, the group reformed with a new drummer and a new name. Other than that, not much has changed. It's still all about the songs, the guitars, and the heartbreaking twang. In the opener, “Lovesick Hearts,” the guitars chug along on a Johnny Cash boxcar beat while the jangling title cut has an epic Bruce Springsteen sweep. “Country Hardball” and “Carolina,” with their sweet, tight, vocal harmonies and gale-force rhythms, are pure Jayhawks. And the Byrds get a nod with “Please Love Me.” The highlight comes with the driving “Message,” a big, barroom brawler of a song that deserves to be at the top of every radio playlist. Too bad radio's dead. - Billings Gazette


" The High Irons are a Brooklyn-based four piece who go all NYC on their brand of Alt Country. The band grabs hold of the songs and rocks, rolls and wrassles the sound with a quick paced shuffle (“Lovesick Hearts”), a side track into a purer country (“Country Hardball”) and stretches out with rock guitar riffs (“The Witness”). The High Irons wear their diversity proudly. The band’s brand of Roots music takes in 70’s country rock with “Please Love Me” and references the first couple of Alt Country footsteps in the 1980’s with the title track. The direction, and the influences, are not as important as the final results. In “Unusual Opportunities for Young Men”, the sights and sounds are The High Irons owned and operated." - The Alternative Root


"It’s a fine, wholesome country rock record. The classic guitar riffs subtly raise their head and run into delicate, crisp sounding solos that hint at a delightful Skynyrd stride. The High Irons romp in melodies and steady rhythms which carve out the traditional country style that is stamped all over this record. Doucet’s deep twanging vocal adds the perfect essence and vibe, although a slight Michael Stipe-ness catches the ear from time to time. The big hitters here are the openers, ‘Lovesick Hearts’ sets off with a Cash-esque pace, a dark tone and a big reverb glow. It’s littered with very cool, short guitar licks and a catchy chorus which gives the hook. Any song that starts with the harmonies of ‘Carolina’ is a winner. Very up beat and again over lapping guitar parts which is the staple diet of this whole record, something The High Irons do so well. ‘Carolina’ is the song to jump in your convertible Cadillac and blaze off down Route 66. - Americana UK



Hailing from that y'allternative hotbed known as Brooklyn, Katy Mae has a leg up on most of its peers thanks to the pure, unfettered authenticity that bleeds through the pores of its material. This five-song EP - a stopgap release to keep fans primed for an upcoming full-length; previously were The Sweetheart Deal and The Lightning and the Sun - offers primo examples of the quartet's agile-but-gritty tunesmithery.

Right from the get-go, with the hard-twang careen of "Two Dollars Late," which suggests a bluesier Drive-By Truckers, the band signals its intention to rawk, and singer/guitarist Phil Doucet's yearning yelp, which is a little bit country/a little bit punk, has never sounded more convincing. Elsewhere, the slow-burn sizzle of "Falls Down," sparked by a subtly insistent thrumming riff, builds to an anthemic climax worthy of some of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' classic raveups. And the desolate, reverb-soaked desert rock that populates the title track has a malevolent grandeur no fan of Crazy Horse will be able to resist (if you additionally hear echoes Tucson's legendary Sidewinders slithering around just under the sun-baked sand here, pat yourself on the back - and these musicians too).

Katy Mae's obviously soaked in its collective influences; one detects elements of ‘70s Southern rock, ‘80s power pop (esp. the Replacements) and of course post-Uncle Tupelo ‘90s alt-country. But don't think the group can be pinned down too easily, ‘cos as noted above, the songs ring true and aim straight for the heart. That they make all the cute young ladies' asses wanna shake in the process is simply icing on the cake.

Standout Tracks: "You May Already Be A Winner," "Two Dollars Late" FRED MILLS
- BLURT


Katy Mae's "The Sweetheart Deal" sucked me in immediately because it reminded me of two of my all time favorite bands, Uncle Tupelo and pre-Document R.E.M. Both of those bands have had a more than significant impact on the music that I listen to today. The former's "No Depression" is my "Nevermind," the pitch perfect amalgamation of grungey rock and old time country, while R.E.M. is one of those rare bands to release four perfect albums back to back, beginning with their debut. That's why the opening few bars of Katy Mae's opening track "Sister Mercy" just brought me right back. I love that sound, which some people call alt-country or roots rock or whatever, but to me it's just good quality rock and roll. First line "I've been drinking for a week..." is the perfect set-up for what follows. The song is above average bar band material, an incendiary sound that busts through the speakers with the intensity of a runaway train. The title track is for the Blue Rodeo fans out there, displaying that interesting combination of traditional songwriting and instrumental meanderings that make for a song that never gets the opportunity to go stale as it retains it's freshness with each tempo change. There are a few softer songs on the album too, which gives it some variety, but I don't feel it suits Philip Doucet's vocals as well as the rockier tunes do. Which is why my favorite song on the album is "Turn Down The Lights". A pounding drum beat and ringing guitar gets us started while Who-style power chords kick in to snap the elastic back before the song is released full throttle into a slight Dinosaur Jr. realm. Finally, one of the songs where I feel his delicate vocals do work is in the brilliantly titled "The Great American Incognitum" a heavy title with even heavier lyrics. Here's a sampling:

Don't get tired of moving on, the future is still out west,
I've seen stars in every sky that told me not to rest,
I see no need for warnings because the lighthouse should be clear,
It's one big ditch of highway for the graveyard to appear

Encouraging, no, but honest, poetic and heartfelt, most definitely. On this full length debut, Katy Mae is beginning where many bands peak. It'll be interesting to see where they will go from here. A very solid debut. - web


Katy Mae is an NYC trio who sound like everything you loved about Crazy Horse, Gram Parsons, the Replacements, etc... The songs on their debut LP, The Sweetheart Deal, produced by veteran John Agnello (Chavez, Dino Jr, Jay Farrar) are remarkably memorable classic rock fare. The band are on tour as we write this, but they'll be back in NYC in no time. Please check em out. - - bobg


Harkening back a few years to the alt. country era when the Bottle Rockets and 6-String Drag reigned supreme, Katy Mae make electric-twanging bar rock for failed lovers. The Brooklyn, NY trio rip through opening tracks "The Brightest Star" and "Whirlwind" with the blue-collar fury of West Coast rootsters Radio Nationals while "Safe and Sound" employs some Still Feel Gone-style rhythm changes and "Foghorn" borrows early REM strumming. Every song equal parts beer-guzzler and tear-jerker. BRIAN J. BARR - *********


Independentsonly.com I remember when I got my first taste of "alternative music" back in the late eighties. Turned onto tapes by R.E.M., The Pixies and Hoodoo Gurus. I loved the feeling of something completely different. That feeling returned when I received "The Lightning & The Sun" by Brooklyn's Katy Mae. Honest and hard working with songwriting from a place deep within the heart. Each track barrels through a whirlwind of rhythms and a wall of guitar that may just open a few minds to a new experience in this sometimes-uneventful world of music. Often with a western feel, Katy Mae may very well be your new favorite band! R.I.Y.L.: old R.E.M., Hoodoo Gurus, Pavement- Monk - web



Hailing from that y'allternative hotbed known as Brooklyn, Katy Mae has a leg up on most of its peers thanks to the pure, unfettered authenticity that bleeds through the pores of its material. This five-song EP - a stopgap release to keep fans primed for an upcoming full-length; previously were The Sweetheart Deal and The Lightning and the Sun - offers primo examples of the quartet's agile-but-gritty tunesmithery.

Right from the get-go, with the hard-twang careen of "Two Dollars Late," which suggests a bluesier Drive-By Truckers, the band signals its intention to rawk, and singer/guitarist Phil Doucet's yearning yelp, which is a little bit country/a little bit punk, has never sounded more convincing. Elsewhere, the slow-burn sizzle of "Falls Down," sparked by a subtly insistent thrumming riff, builds to an anthemic climax worthy of some of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' classic raveups. And the desolate, reverb-soaked desert rock that populates the title track has a malevolent grandeur no fan of Crazy Horse will be able to resist (if you additionally hear echoes Tucson's legendary Sidewinders slithering around just under the sun-baked sand here, pat yourself on the back - and these musicians too).

Katy Mae's obviously soaked in its collective influences; one detects elements of ‘70s Southern rock, ‘80s power pop (esp. the Replacements) and of course post-Uncle Tupelo ‘90s alt-country. But don't think the group can be pinned down too easily, ‘cos as noted above, the songs ring true and aim straight for the heart. That they make all the cute young ladies' asses wanna shake in the process is simply icing on the cake.

Standout Tracks: "You May Already Be A Winner," "Two Dollars Late" FRED MILLS - Blurt


Discography

Unusual Opportunities For Young Men- 2011- Incognitum Music

Photos

Bio

"Emphasis on songs. The long forgotten rule of all popular music has and always will be the quality of the song. This has always been my primary focus, damn the haircuts and headbands."-Phil Doucet (lead singer)

You can label the band as Americana, alt-country, or country tinged rock, or at-rock, or folk rock. But no one moniker truly fits, and this is the strength of The High Irons. The respect of their musical heroes never becomes parody. The High Irons walk along the shadows of their influences—Tom Petty, The Byrds, The Replacements, R.E.M, Son Volt, Everly Brothers—but always try to step out into their own light.

Additional Info:
We enjoy power tools and wall anchors. We find them comforting. Our rehearsal space is full of many objects that help us perform our craft as tunesmiths/human beings.