the shapes
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the shapes

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Week of February 14th, 2005:

If you didn’t know ahead of time that The Shapes were from New York City, it wouldn’t take long into “Dreaming of an M16” to recognize that fact. Male and female vocals work extremely well in these tough but precise rockers, and the band’s influences range quite well from the Pixies and the Cars to the Killers.

The head-bobbing garage-rock style of “Dreaming of an M16” is catchy and yet gritty, but what lends the song its real spark is this edgy synth line that warbles and spits at you from the background. The combination of male and female vocals – both with a hint of sultry come-on style – also shine on this highly professional-sounding track. There’s also some blazing guitar near the track’s end that I especially like.

By the end of this song, I find myself bouncing in my chair. It’s too high-energy not to. The guitars really rock, edgy yet comfortably in the NYC garage-rock style of the moment. And yet this band doesn’t seem to me to be another take-off of the Killers or the Bravery or the like. The double vocals and the excellent synth backing really make “Dreaming of an M16” stand out to me.





- Jeff Marsh


Time Out NY - Week of February 16-22

On a self-titled and self released CD, local band The Shapes evokes the peppy sounds of years past - from Blondie through The Strokes. - Time Out Issue 542


75 or Less Reviews
November '05

Consider this album an aural representation of the yin-yang shape; it's all about balance. In the tradition of the Brunettes and the Raveonettes, the Shapes throw male and female vocals back and forth atop candy-coated guitar riffs. But there's grit underneath the sugar, and the minor keys lend a sense of melancholy. So while "Tunnel Vision" will have you gleefully dancing around your room as the chorus builds to a yell, "Monochrome"'s plaintive chorus will have you recording your angst in your journal. Great stuff. - Meredith


The Shapes have composed and performed the Theme Song for A&E Television's new reality show, "DALLAS SWAT" ... premiering January 5th, 2006... and airing every Thursday at 10PM.

www.aetv.com
- Granada America


August 10th, 2006

It’s exciting to find an unsigned band who are on the verge of making it. This tingly vibe is currently attached to New York City quintet the Shapes. After catching their live act last year, a television music supervisor picked the band to record the theme song, “Behind the Blue”, for an A&E reality show called Dallas SWAT (a name just begging to be parodied by the porn industry), 2005 also saw the release of this disc, the debut, self-titled mini-LP from the Shapes. At seven songs and running just over half an hour, The Shapes is a perfect introduction to the band’s melodic and likeably uncomplicated brand of indie-rock. Singer/guitarists Mark Allen and Tonia Samman share both lead vocal and songwriting duties. Their voices sound great together, although Samman’s expressive alto, a mix of Debbie Harry and the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, will carry the band the farthest. Musically, the duo’s writing contributions merge seamlessly into the group sound, which is heavily indebted to the catchy and unfettered pop/rock of the new wave era, such as the Pretenders, the Romantics, and the Plimsouls. Not merely a retro act, however, the tight and punchy sound of the shapes is also a product of today’s post-alt indie-rock grit. A good band like the Shapes will certainly get snatched up soon, and I’m sure we’ll be treated to a very fine full-length follow-up in the near future. For now, enjoy this mid-sized bite of catchy, rockin’ pop. - Michael Keefe at Popmatters Music Review


This Brooklyn-based five-piece has garnered comparisons to Blondie, X and the Strokes since appearing in their current form about two years ago. For all the shades of early new wave and '70s punk that fill out their music, though, there's very little that is "retro" sounding about them. The Shapes, instead, rely on male-female harmonies, stacks of riffage and large choruses to create something that's closer to the Killers than it is the Cars, and that isn't an insult. "Escape From New York," which is laid in place by a buoyant synth-line, attaches itself to a typewriter snare pattern before three down-stroked guitars jump on to provide the calculated clatter that is present in nearly every one of these songs. "Dreaming Of An M16," another hit, proves that the band can sound downright menacing when they want to, though never quite approaching discordance. They straddle this multi-genre-lization effortlessly, which essentially summarizes what this band does best: stand out.
- Kevin Kampwirth



The Shapes -- The Shapes
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Many of today's "Alternative" music success stories (i.e. the bands actually getting radio play) fall into three categories: outside of the prevailing Emo Pop, there's pretentious grandeur (like The Killers) or jaded, hipster "whatever"-ness (like The Strokes). New York City's The Shapes share traits with the two latter categories, but there is such a wide-eyed Pop buoyancy to their music, any notion of pretentiousness falls by the wayside. On the band's debut, seven-song EP, The Shapes connect the dots between Blondie and The Strokes, propped up by infectious, jovial hooks, bubbly rhythms and chiming down-stroke guitars. The band, like an Indie Pop Skynyrd, has three guitarists, but the six-stringers forgo engulfing walls of noise in favor of a more direct, spiky approach. For the vocals, co-frontpersons Tonia Samman and Mark Allen switch off and harmonize like a New Wave version of X. The gliding, sugar-sweet "Bordeaux" sets the tone, with its U2/Cure-type guitars circling around Samman's charming vocals like a mama lion protecting her cubs. On "Dreaming Of An M16," the band incorporates a fizzy synth burble to great effect, while "Overflow" puts Allen in the spotlight, his languid drawl teetering close enough to Julian Casablancas' you can smell the Heineken on his breath. But it works -- by whitewashing their influences with their own jovial slant, The Shapes end up in a happier place all their own. - Mike Breen


If you were to take The Ramones, Devo and a little Weezer shook it up (not stirred) you'd probably get The Shapes. Making up The Shapes is: Tonia (Vocals/Guitars), Mark (Vocals/Guitars), Dmitry (Bass), Brent (Guitar) and Ivan (Drums) from New York City. Their music is catchy with rhythmic melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Listenting to The Shapes its hard not to get caught up in the catchy pop tunes. To bad it wasn't a full-length EP, but the self-titled EP is slated for a Spring release - Ashley Andrews


Hailing from Manhattan, New York, The Shapes is a five piece, co-ed indie rock band. The band's debut 7-track EP will be independently released this spring, and is a shining example of the versatility and capabilities of the band. If The Shapes can continue forth on the path they're on now, they'll be well on their way to success in no time.

The opening track on the EP is the single, "Dreaming of an M16," which features bouncy drumming, complementary dual vocals, and an infectious bassline that will be stuck in your head all day long, even if you have no idea what the song is about. Don't believe us? Prepare yourself to hit the repeat button, and listen to select tracks from their EP online at http://www.myspace.com/theshapesband. - Vivian Hua - "Bands to Watch For" List 2005


"The Shapes started things off with a blazing set of catchy rock. I loved their blend of male/female vocals and thought their guitar work and rhythm section really stood out. Of the five bands that played the show last night, these guys are the most immediately ready for mass consumption." - Matt @ Earfarm


Discography

"The Shapes" - Self Titled (August 2005)

"Behind The Blue" - Single Track recorded for A&E Television (January 2006)

"Face We Make When We Dance" - 2007

Photos

Bio

These four guys and a girl play an infectious breed of New York City garage pop that will keep you bouncing in your seat. Their music is reminiscent of the CBGB's scene of the 70's, complete with fierce hooks and razor blade guitars, but with influences ranging from The Cure to The Pixies to Franz Ferdinand, The Shapes create a sound all their own.

The band has played at many notable New York City venues including Mercury Lounge, Northsix, Knitting Factory, Southpaw, Piano's, CBGB's, Luna Lounge, The Delancey, and Crash Mansion. They have toured in many UK cities at venues including the ABC in Glasgow, and Camden Barfly in London. They have shared the stage with bands such as The Bravery, Jonny Lives!, Jill Cunniff (of Luscious Jackson), The Upwelling, Uncut, A Place to Bury Strangers, and many more. The band has been selected to play in several conferences including the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC, NEMO in Boston, Verge in Boston, NXNE in Toronto, The Midwest Music Conference in Indianapolis, The Baltimore Music Conference, and the Philadelphia City Paper Playoffs.

In November '06, The Shapes won the Grand Prize in the CMJ/Zig Zag Competition voted on by fans from all over the country. They were also voted as runner up in MP3.com's "Get Exposed" National battle of the bands competition in January '07, and they won a trip to San Francisco to perform to a sold out crowd at The Elbo Room.

Their self-titled debut CD was released in the summer of 2005, recorded at Threshold Studios in New York City, and Mastered at Avatar Studios with Fred Kevorkian (White Stripes, Ryan Adams, Iggy Pop). The record was spun on over 150 college radio stations nationwide and charted on 16 of them.

The Shapes also composed and performed the theme song for A&E TELEVISION's reality series, "DALLAS SWAT," which premiered on January 5th, 2006. The show airs every Thursday at 10PM, and is currently in its second season. Two of The Shapes tracks, "Dreaming of an M16" and "How it Goes," appeared on the soundtrack of the Independent snowskating film "Adieu" by Switchfilm Productions. The movie was released in the fall of 2005. Their songs, "Bordeaux" and "Monochrome" were recently played on MTV's new reality show, "MADE".... their song, "Birthday Song" aired on CW's "Gossip Girl", and "Overflow" was featured on CBS Television's "The Unit".

The band just finished recording their first full length record with Producers Gus Van Go & Werner F (The Stills, Priestess) at Boiler Room Studios in Brooklyn, New York entitled, "Faces We Make When We Dance" and will perform live on Fox Television's "Fearless TV" in early 2008.

Band Contact:
Mark Allen
917.482.8281
theshapesmusic@yahoo.com

Legal Representation
Todd Lawlor, Esq.
Lawlor & Rella LLP
551 Fifth Avenue , 28th Floor
New York , New York 10176
t: 917.561.7815
f: 212.712.8855

You Can Purchase The Shapes debut CD online at Ampcamp, CDbaby.com, Tower Records, and ITUNES.