The Sterns
Gig Seeker Pro

The Sterns

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Band Pop Alternative


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



"Skyline Press - CD Review"

What do you get when you are formed through the influences of some of the most famous artists like The Beatles and Elvis Costello? Well you get the five piece band from Massachusetts, The Sterns. They have self produced their magic onto an amazing first album that got them more media exposure, and lead to the creation of their latest endeavor, "Sinners Stick Together." With true natured nonchalance, The Sterns have brought in a full deck and are ready to sit down and play a hand or two.

A cheery and leading first song allows us to get involved in the titled track "Sinners Stick Together." With seemingly innocent melodies, with eccentric vocals and lyrics that act like a crazy stage play with many characters. This song almost feels like those quirky jingles from car commercials and other TV ads for whimsical products. The cloudy yellow submarine adventures continue with "Supreme Girl." I don't know how they have seemingly captured the generation of music from the 60's and brought it to this forefront, with their own little tweaks and changes. Digital effects are layered on for "This Side Of The Screen" with technically balanced and timed charges of sonic guitars. Dreams now have a soundtrack and they will bounce along in all of their eye crusty goodness. The Sterns have impeccable abilities to meld together and cram all sorts of fancy vocals, blizzards of collective riffs and loads of sound effects that anoint the majority of their songs. "Buffer Zone" invites a more jazzy feel to the standard eccentric vocals that illuminate their choruses. Flutters of guitar are a nice touch as they are plentiful and produced so clear. With each song I feel like I'm going further and further back in time to when the shrieking masses would go wild over Beatle-mania. With a more waltz-like beginning, "Rosemary Cross" offers similar enriched lyrics and tones down the normally hectic and busy airwaves with calm and serene acoustic guitars plucking and strumming away.

Up beat acoustics start off "About The Author" with colorful and detailed riffs. A hurried pace would seem rushed with any other band, but they seem to have made this their background for the theme of the album. With an interesting title, "Papa, You're In Your Prime" invades your mind with contagious beats and jaw bending vocal structure. With a song that is so happy for its own reasons, its hard to see how someone couldn't like it. Clear and precise bass and guitar add to the overall presentation, which shows the longing to make a theatric and promising album. A high pitched "Undergrad" chimes in with awkward almost barnyard like feel to its instruments with violins and flavorful hoe down action. The overloading of instruments from earlier in the CD has returned and in some parts it drags the song down, but here it only stands to fortify it. "All Saints" travels the frets in a journey to find that perfect path where each chord rings and matches the tone. Almost child-like, sounding vocals play on an ethereal playground as swerving guitars grasp on to the beat and gain control. As "Sinners Stick Together" starts to come to an end, it by no means dwindles, as "Twenty-Three Hours" continues with the youthful energy and flies the banner of good times. This almost seems like a bar song, where a song might break out in a musical with choreographed dancing included. As a mellow end to an exhausting endeavor, "Virginia Radio" gives joyous piano and surly guitars that almost seem to come from a black and white film. Either way, it takes an old style and brings it main stream with just the right chemistry.

With a step into the past, The Sterns have recreated what was so needed back when, and sailed it into the mainstream glance. Old timey instruments that you might find in a history museum have been dusted off and digitally pressed to the effects and some what busy feel that popular music has these days. It's great to have passion for something and The Sterns seem to have an obsession for the style and genre of music they draw from. This has its great points as well as its faults, as new waves of music can be forged with the seeds of the past. Yet the point that much of this type of music has been listened to before and moved on from. In the end I believe that now is a time for what The Sterns bring to the table and many with enjoy their many layers of psychedelic pop symphonies. ?
(Pernell Fowler 12-20-06)
- Skyline Press

"Amplifier Magazine"

New England Quintet The Sterns have a knack for crafting shiny pop songs with layered guitar arrangements, swirling keyboards and well-placed horns. If you were to form a super group made up of members of Belle and Sebastian, The Smiths, and college rock staples like The Bogmen or Sloan you’d get something like this. Brothers Chris and Alex Stern sing about misguided love and politics, and tend to find more success on this album with the former. A notable exception is “Supreme Girl”, a wry take on failed US Supreme Court nominee and George W. Bush valentine Harriet Myers written from the perspective of the beleaguered prez. The politically-themed material comes off a little heavy-handed in spots, particularly in the abortion-themed “Buffer Zone”, but the lilting guitar riffs and melodies of songs like the Smiths-inspired “Virginia Radio” and “This Side of the Screen” help keep the album buoyed through the few spots where the lyrics threaten to drag it down. Go ahead and try to keep “Rosemary Cross” or “About the Author” from lodging in your head. The Sterns pull all the best elements of Brit pop both new and old together and boil them down to their brightest elements, and the result is an album of very catchy songs. - John Frusciante


The Sterns
February 27, 2007

The Sterns
Who? The Sterns are Chris Stern (vocals/guitar), Alex Stern (guitar/vocals), Emeen Zarookian (bass/vocals), Michael Sixx (keys), and Andrew Sadoway (drums). Members attended separate high schools in Massachusetts and Rhode Island before combining forces to become a Boston-based quintet.

What's the Deal? Jangly pop guitar riffs and catchy throwback English-rock vocals fill their sophomore album, Sinners Stick Together (Omnirox Entertainment), but that doesn't mean the Sterns shy away from substance. "All Saints" exudes an anti-war sentiment and the still-whistling-it-hours-after-first-listen "Supreme Girl" is an imagined tongue-in-cheek rendezvous between Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers and George W. Bush.

Fun Fact: When in Chicago, the Sterns frequent the Melrose restaurant for some late-night dining. Alex recommends the sweet and sour cabbage soup or, if that sounds sinful, the surefire eggs benedict. -EMILY YOUSSEF

Now Hear This:
The Sterns - "Supreme Girl"

Now Watch This: The Sterns - "Buffer Zone"

- Spin

"All Music calls "Sinners" a Pop Masterpiece"

4.5/5 Star Review

British pop and politics have long been intertwined, but the rise of AOR in the Sixties created a split in the States, with AM's pop rarely moving beyond candy fluff for the mind, while rock orientated FM delved into more serious subjects. The Sterns, however, are determined to bridge that gap once and for all.

Sinners Stick Together, the quintet's second album, is awash in bright and breezy pop music, and drenched in infectious, hook laden choruses, effervescent melodies, chirpy harmonies, and bouncy rhythms. Like all the best pop bands, The Sterns' songs sound immediately familiar, yet never to the point of suggesting rip-off.

The group's music echoes of the past, it glistens like the '60s, but for every nod to The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Kinks, there's an equal bow to their '70s and '80s equivalents - The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, and briefly on "Supreme Girl" Madness. This is powerpop for a new now generation.

And for this generation politics is back with a vengeance, intruding everywhere. And so The Sterns confront it head on, but with great wit or an unexpected twist. "Supreme Girl" is a grand example, the Harriet Myers' Supreme Court debacle as seen from George Bush's selfish viewpoint. Nigerian internet entrepreneurs, all suspiciously related to fallen dictators, seem a tad less predatory when seen through the eyes of one of their small children. Be it the abortion battles, the Iraq War ("All Saints", composed pre-invasion), Republicans insistence on painting dissent as treason, and religion, The Sterns tackle all the topics of the moment.

However, if all that's a little too hard to handle, you can always take to your bed and pull the covers over your head "Twenty-Three Hours" a day, or just listen to the clutch of apolitical numbers that celebrate strong women, dismiss (college) degree driven lives, and dive into the autobiographical.

A pop masterpiece whose music is as enticing as its themes are thought-provoking. - All Music Guide

"The Rockit - Album Review"

Review by: Arthur Javier

The Sterns are a curious quartet of Boston ska band refugees. And while they would like to believe that their brand of Britpop has a punk flavor, all of the songs worth a listen on Sinners Stick Together sound like Belle and Sebastian meets The Hollies, "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying" meets "Bus Stop." The combination is a charming jangle that's not afraid of a little orchestration.

On their sophomore effort, whether paying ode to a Wes Anderson ingénue or seducing a nun, The Sterns are catchy and clever. They avoid verse-chorus-verse and embrace their Anglo-charged delivery, singing over every melodic change in a Mancunian croon. And they avoid the more recent Britpop sound for a more British Invasion style with vocal harmonies and sugary fills. Ultimately, Sinners Stick Together is an interesting piece of pop with The Sterns playing two great sounds that sound great together. - The Rockit by: Arthur Javier

"Northeast Performer Magazine"

They've played in numerous ska bands, their drummer hosts a reggae college radio show, and they've just released a promising EP of British-inspired pop. Hmm… what? The math doesn't add up but in four short songs the Sterns have established themselves as blissful guitar pop savants. The Boston five-piece plays Anglophile rock the way it used to be played; before the Oasis versus Blur match and before Norman Cook abandoned rock and soul to trick fellow countrymen into embracing soulless big beats as Fatboy Slim. Cook's original band, the Housemartins, provide a decent comparison to the Sterns' sound with their upper-register boyish vocals and chiming guitars devoid of any additives such as distortion or delay. The first two words we get from the band, “It's Saturday,” is complete with dropped a “R,” which might betray either a Boston inflection or London affectation. No matter, though, the song itself, “For Your Photograph” is a bouncing single with harmonizing guitar lines and tasteful Rhodes piano noodling. “Lie” employs more ringing guitars and clever chord changes featuring the great and somewhat ambiguous kiss-off line, “Forever is far too long just to lie here beside you.” By the time “Just a Stain” plays, it's hard not to wonder how the hell this band, part of which plays with Boston ska scenesters such as Mass. Hysteria and (formerly) Westward Train, wrote and arranged such catchy indie pop songs. The final track, “Protest Song,” is the gem of the EP: the Rhodes piano and harmonica ground the band firmly in '60s pop while handclapping and a brilliant guitar figure close out the song and the all-too-short recording. It's fun and completely addictive, and auto-replay has never before been so appreciated. While individually the band's members have played and toured for several years with other groups, the Sterns, with only a show or two to their credit, aren't battle-tested… yet. If they can pull off the sound of the LP at a cynical little Boston club then, goddamm, a new favorite band has just been born." (Peter Hanlon) - Peter Hanlon

"The Boston Phoenix - CD Review"

The first thing that grabs you when you hear the Sterns is the angelic voice of singer/guitarist Chris Stern, whose pleasant lilt sounds truly distinctive over the band’s ’60s-rooted, ’80s-tinged rollicking guitar pop. Stern and guitarist Alex Stern (unrelated), who began collaborating while playing in local ska band Westbound Train, create a guitar sound that approximates what it might be like if the Smiths’ Johnny Marr and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck were in the same band. The two Sterns’ ringing guitars are grounded by the group’s airtight rhythm section. Emeen Zarookian, who possesses a McCartney-esque pop instinct on the bass, and drummer Andrew Sadoway and keyboardist Michael Six quickly learned the songs (on which Chris and Alex had been working since 2002) in time to play the Sterns’ first show, in November 2003. Soon after, the Sterns entered Galaxy Park Studio in Allston with engineer Richard Marr (Gigolo Aunts, the Gravel Pit) to work on an album. Completed just last month, Say Goodbye to the Camera is one of the best debut albums by an unsigned Boston band in recent memory (although, as we mentioned above, the best music often goes unnoticed, even by us at the Phoenix — gasp!).

Though the songs and the sound are clearly influenced by ’80s Brit-pop, Camera comes off as less derivative than the seemingly endless supply of clone bands to pop up during the current ’80s resurgence, due in large part to the Sterns’ masterful songwriting and arranging. Subtle but vital vocal harmonies, tasteful keyboard melodies, and pre-choruses that perfectly set up and transition into infectious choruses combine to form the expertly crafted songs that transcend the band’s influences. (Will Spitz 10/28/04) - Will Spitz

"Boston Herald Interview"

Every band makes a (expletive) load of mistakes onstage,” Alex Stern, the Sterns’ guitarist, said.
As unintentional illustration, he promptly spills his pint of Hoegaarden onto a pub table in Allston.
“It’s how they handle it that makes them a good band,” he added, as he corralled the puddle of Belgian beer with napkins.
In the spirit of Barenaked Ladies, listening to this 2-year-old pop quintet presents an emotionally confusing experience. Say you’re bopping along to the happy beat of “For Your Photograph” off their debut album, “Say Goodbye to the Camera.” Then it dawns on you: This song is about extreme loneliness and heartbreak. No more bopping.
Most songs from this album deal with relationships, but Stern predicts a shift with the release of the tentatively titled “Sinners Stick Together,” due out in early fall.
“The subject matter is less homogenous,” Stern said. “It’s by no means optimistic, but it’s not as melancholy.”
Look forward to social and political commentary set to sounds of euphonious ’60s rock embroidered with elements of ’80s Brit pop. In other words, here come the keyboards.
And here come the Sterns, looking to make their mark.
“We’re at an age where we have to make something of ourselves pretty quickly,” Stern said. “The next step is to play as many shows as possible.”
But, with swelling gas prices, the band has ruled out a cross-country tour at this time. Starting July 5, the Sterns will play a series of venues east of the Mississippi.
“We want to play places we can realistically make it back to,” Stern said.
MEET: The Sterns
The band: Chris Stern (voice, guitar), Alex Stern (guitar, voice), Michael Sixx (keyboards), Emeen Zarookian (bass, voice), Andrew Sadoway (drums)
The sound: Each song contains a series of tiny musical explosions - like Pop Rocks for your ears. - Boston Herald

"Boston Metro Top 10 of 2005"

The Sterns are Boston's best kept should-be-spread-across-the-pages-of NME secret. - Boston Metro


"The Spacecamp Diaries, Volume 1" EP/Album Teaser. Spring 2011

"Sinners Stick Together" LP. National Release 3/13/2007. Omnirox Entertainment.

"Say Goodbye to the Camera" LP. 2005. Omnirox Entertainment.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...