The Takeover UK
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The Takeover UK

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The best kept secret in music


"French Review"

The Takeover uk
( The Takeover Uk )
Comme son nom ne l'indique pas The Takeover uk est américain from Pitsburgh. Leur album n'a pas de nom non plus, en fait il existent actuellement qu'un 3 titres promo distribué afin de faire connaître leur musique aux gens et démarcher les labels. Mais on a eu la chance de recevoir l'album dont sont extraits ces titres. The Takeover uk et un mélange de pop et de rock, plus clairement appeler pop-rock, on tenait juste à préciser cela car de nos jours beaucoup de choses sont appelées pop-rock sans en être. Donc The Takeover uk c'est un peu du Beatles, un peu du Oasis. Contrairement à la mode du moment, être émo vaille que vaille, les The Takeover uk ont des morceaux qui dégagent une énergie très positive, un côté pop joyeuse très Phantom Planet. Ecouter les 11 titres de cet album est un moment agréable. Enfin, on peut se détendre un peu, comme un bon bain chaud, plein de mousse et de senteurs parfumées où seule la sérénité fait des vagues. C'est si rare un bon pop-rock qu'il faut en profiter au maximum. Le plus surprenant c'est sûrement que ces petits gars ne sont pas anglais, pourtant on pourrait facilement se laisser prendre. Pour résumer, pour mettre un rayon de soleil dans votre tête, prendre le temps quelques minutes, The Takeover uk est la solution, alors faites vous plaisir.
Kronik O.S.


"Takeover UK takes it's Turn on Tour"

Takeover UK takes its turn on tour
Thursday, January 27, 2005

By Ed Masley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

They don't have a record out, but the members of Pittsburgh's misleadingly titled The Takeover UK are taking off on a six-week tour with local heavyweights The Juliana Theory and Zao.

"It's our first tour, and we're playing the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia and House of Blues in L.A.," says Mark Solomich, who shares both writing and lead vocal duties with Nick Snyder. "You can't beat that, playing your first show to 500 people."

One of their earliest shows was an opening slot on a Juliana Theory bill, and luckily enough, that band's lead singer took a liking to them. It was another case of being in the right place at the right time.

Solomich was at school in Boston when the seeds were planted for The Takeover UK. A friend he'd known since high school, Josh Sickels, had started a band with Snyder, so Solomich checked it while he was visiting home.

"I could tell they had sat down and put a lot of time into their songs. It was just great rock songs, which you don't come across that often," Solomich says.

By the time the set was through, he knew they had to get a band together, which they did within a day of Solomich's return to Pittsburgh (armed with what would become the group's first demos).

The sound on those Solomich demos, which the other guys don't play on, is infectious, guitar-driven pop, with roots in everything from the British Invasion to Big Star, not the sort of thing you might expect from kids who'd cut their teeth in hardcore bands.

"There's a connection, I think, between our music and what I consider punk rock, like the Clash," Solomich says. "But on the other hand, we always loved the Beatles. A good pop song done the right way, it's unbeatable."

They've since recut "Damn Tryin'" from those demos with a special guest, Gil Snyder of the Mystic Knights, a local legend whose career was launched with a stint in the Iron City Houserockers.

After all, his kid is in the band.

"We practice at his house," says Solomich, "so he's heard us a million times."
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette


Damn Tryin single - self-released 2004
Distant Shores single - Strike Two Records 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


The first time Josh Sickels met Mark Solomich, things didn’t go so well. “I couldn’t stand him“, says Sickels, the drummer for The Takeover UK. “I don’t really remember when we met, but I probably didn’t like him either,” recalls vocalist/guitarist Solomich. Bonding over punk rock, somehow the two 15 year olds became friends. Sickels and Solomich played in various punk and hardcore bands in their hometown of Pittsburgh throughout their formative years, though never in the same band. According to Solomich, “Sickels was a singer, if you can call it that, and I was a drummer back then”.
Eventually, Solomich moved to Boston to go to school. Around the same time, Sickels began playing drums with a moppy-haired kid two years his junior, Nick Snyder. Banging away nasty, blues-drenched rock and roll, the two formed The Revolvers and started gigging around Pittsburgh. Snyder, though younger, had rock and roll in his blood. His dad Gil had played piano in notorious hometown blues-rock band, The Iron City Houserockers. “I tried to get away from rock and roll, but in the end, it just wouldn’t let me”, jokes vocalist/guitarist/pianist Snyder.
Throughout the next three years, Sickels and Snyder honed their gritty raw sound over countless shows. Meanwhile, Solomich was in Boston, writing countless songs and trying to put a band together. “It was rough”, jokes Solomich. “I couldn’t find anyone to play with. No one ever seemed to work out. But I guess things work out, just not how you imagined them to.” The future members of The Takeover UK seemed to be on two separate roads that would never intersect. “I planned on never moving back to Pittsburgh. It just didn’t seem like the ripe ground to start up my grand idea of a rock band”, says Solomich. He had no idea that back in Pittsburgh, Sickels and Snyder shared the same vision.
“I was home and Sickels told me to come see his band play at some barn out in the country,” recalls Solomich. “I went not expecting much. I didn’t even know Sickels could play the drums.” What he saw changed his future plans. “It was downright primal, they were beating on their instruments like madmen, but the sound that came out, you can’t just copy that. It was the real deal.”
Inspired, Solomich went back to Boston and started recording demos with a young producer he had met, Matthew Lee. Over the next year, the two would record in every rag tag apartment and basement in the Allston neighborhood that would let them in. A stroke of bad luck would eventually lead to a breakthrough.
One frigidly cold winter night, Solomich was walking home after a long, drunken recording session with Lee. “We had gone to get some drinks after recording all night, and you know, one drink turns into a slew and next thing we know, we’ve been thrown out of every bar we’d walked into”, says Solomich. The trains no longer running, and all out of cash, Solomich decided to walk home. At some point, he passed out in the snow. Awaking hours later, he couldn’t feel his hands. His skin was blue.
He made it home, barely escaping hypothermia. “It’s not my proudest moment”, says Solomich. The cold must have had some strange effect on him. As soon as he got home, just as the sun was coming up, he picked up his guitar and wrote two songs. He and Lee recorded them the next weekend and he sent them to Sickels and Snyder. These two songs “Damn Tryin” and “Boy, You’ve Got A Lovely Sister” would become the birth of The Takeover UK. Sickels and Snyder flipped out upon hearing the songs and immediately asked him to start a band as soon as he graduated. Solomich agreed and one month later, the day he moved back to Pittsburgh, The Takeover UK had their first practice.
With long time friend Adam Shash joining them on bass and vocals, the four gelled. “Nick and Mark were just writing, hands down, better songs than anyone else around. It was a no brainer to start playing with them”, says Shash. With Shash’s exceptional McCartney-esque style and pitch perfect falsetto harmony, The Takeover UK jumped right into things.
Practicing incessantly and especially focusing on their three part harmonies, they quickly began to make a name for themselves. I
In the spring of 2005, The Takeover UK embarked on their first US tour as support for The Juliana Theory, Zao and Open Hand. On the heels of the tour came their debut single, "Distant Shores". After barely a year together, The Takeover Uk is just starting to establish themselves.
And the name? “Oh, it’s kind of a joke. I had this idea of taking things over, and just added the UK cause someone already had the name”, says Solomich. “Don’t believe him,” smiles Sickels. “It’s after that Jay-Z song”.