The iOs
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The iOs

Band Alternative Rock


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The best kept secret in music


I desperately wish I didn't have to review Center and Stop. It's one of those albums that's so breathtakingly great that you want to do everything you can to keep the band as your own little secret and somehow prevent the sordid hipster masses from learning about the band's existence. Sure, that kind of attitude is unfair to The iOs, who've put together an EP so good, it suggests that the title of Next Big Indie Thing is theirs for the taking. But as anyone who's ever heard a band on the brink of stardom can attest, sometimes you just want to keep those bands to yourself.
Given the quality of the five songs that comprise Center and Stop, and the incredible rate at which the group has progressed since their first EP just two years ago, keeping The iOs' secret will soon be impossible. In large part, this can be attributed to the fact that, rather than being content with making pretty melodies, they've expanded their sound significantly.

This means that they've embraced a dark side -- witness the Placebo-echoing "Water Ghosts", on which Chris Brocco's drumming slowly builds beneath the eerie keyboard, until it finally explodes in the forefront and the song comes to a crashing end. It means The iOs have started writing songs with an eye to the dance floor -- "Answer It All", for example, nails the thing Metric have been aiming for, with the added bonus of the beautiful vocal harmonies between Chris Punsalan and Autumn Proemm. Most importantly, it means that The iOs have learned how to write superlatively catchy power-pop songs. "Stamp Out The Sun" and "Forces Regrouping" sound like The Shins in an alternate universe where they've made keyboard their primary instrument and thrown a female vocalist into the mix. Both songs are brimming with poise, showing a band supremely confident in their own ability, capable of translating that confidence into catchy hooks and beautiful melodies.

Center and Stop isn't without its problems -- "Nurture", for example, is a slightly plodding note on which to close the album -- but these amount to minor gripes with an EP that is otherwise outstanding. If The iOs' in-the-works LP turns out to be as good as Center and Stop suggests it could be, they'll never be unknown again.

The iOs have slowed things down on their latest self-released EP, but there’s still plenty of dreamy new wave goodness that’s perfect for dancing or making out or moping about how you’re not dancing or making out. During the chorus of "Calm Down," Chris Punsalan and Autumn Proemm’s voices playfully bounce off each other and it sounds like total bliss, or at least a college-radio hit. - NYPress

Better brush up on those Molly Ringwald dancefloor moves because new wave is back, and not just at the Depeche Mode parties roving around town, either. Nu garde bands like the iOs rock harder than their '80s counterparts, pairing their bright synth washes with scuzzy guitars to catchy effect. - Village Voice

There’s a wonderful, unheralded downtown band called the iOs. They’re this lush, new-wave, indie-pop, boy-girl group who are better than, well, half of Jade Tree’s roster. My 17-year-old friend William describes them better than I can: "The iOs sound like an in-love Weezer, like Rivers Cuomo has a girlfriend and they’re happy together. They sit at home all day and make keyboard-tinged dance-pop versions of the next Weezer album (the proper followup to Pinkerton). Sometimes, they show their joy by singing close harmonies together…ohhh, yeah." - NYPress

With CJ in tow, and now a four piece, Autumn and the two Chrises are even more ready to lead the burgeoning pop revolution here in the City. -

Like Brooklyn's Sea Ray, this downtown New York combo traffics in moody
atmospherics and breathy vocals. In the space of a three-song EP, brevity
(as the man says) really does prove the soul of wit, as the band makes use
of a fairly limited palette of instrumentation. Keyboardist Autumn Proemm
and guitarist Chris Punsalan¹s vocals play nicely off each other on the
opening "Calmdown," evoking some of the best of shoegaze pop. Elsewhere,
drummer Chris Brocco shines, adding a propulsive edge to "Summer Camp." In
all, a band worth watching.
- Big Takeover

The iOs are breaking in a new drummer and writing new material, but this band is still playing sweet, new-wave-tinged music that's part dance-pop and part Smashing Pumpkins. It's comforting winter in New York music, even if the song about that girl in San Diego is a little better than the song about tripping in Washington Square Park. - NYPress

Total Pop is what I hear from these demos. Damn good pop. -

This is quite a band and certainly the next star to watch. I can hardly wait until the LP comes out. (shelflife, matinee, are you listening?) -

...CJ's triumphant debut as the 4th IO at the Merc - which was pleasantly packed with fans - such a good sign that our jaded city's musical tastes not completely blacked out and glammed up... -


The iOs - EP - 2003
Center and Stop - EP - 2004
(Untitled LP) - 2005 (coming soon)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Chris Punsalan and Autumn Proemm began forming their unique brand of dreamy indie-pop in 1999. By 2000, they had amassed a huge catalog of memorable tunes and spent the following years building a dedicated fan base while using only sampled drums in clubs around New York City. In 2003 they added Chris Brocco on drums and CJ Amodeo on bass who add organic power to the mix. Together they combine heartfelt harmonies, glistening keyboard lines, and experimental studio sounds to form songs that are both meditative and highly energetic.