The Unofficial
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The Unofficial

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | SELF

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Rock Cover Band

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Music

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"Incredible!"

Stereopool – “Freedom Finds You” – Incredible! That is the first word that popped into my head after listening to the debut album “Freedom Finds You” by Maryland’s own, Stereopool. The trio, consisting of Bob Sima, Chris Ritch and Gary Shenk has put out a successful release on their own with no label backing, a very impressive first leap for this newly up and coming band. The sound is all over the place bouncing from pure Americana pop to a folk-rocking sound. It’s like attending a party with Dave Matthews and Del Amitri as the hosts with Ryan Adams, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper stopping by for a jam fest. Excellent musical choice for anyone of any age, Stereopool is impressive, pure and simple. Sure to cause feelings of wanderlust and joy, “Freedom Finds You” contains lyrics and melodies that are sure to keep you singing and dancing, long after the record ends. This is exactly what you have been looking for. A new band, a new sound and a new release you have been hoping for all wrapped up into one incredible CD. A four-star recommendation from CoffeeHouseTour! - Heather Corcoran


"Jackie Savitz-WRYR"

It's hard to pick a favorite song from Stereopool's new cd 'Freedom Finds You,' there are so many unique and compelling songs. That doesn't always happen we get new artists' cds in the station, and we love that it's on an independent label to boot! Our listeners will be hearing a lot from this album." - We Love It


"Great Things Coming..."

I believe these fellows are destined for some great things - Maryland Music Monthly


"Review"

Put Stereopool in the groups to pay attention to along with Naked Blue, Bens Bones and Jim Dugan. At the risk of prophesizing, there seems to be a critical mass forming within the Baltimore indierock "scene"? I was led to believe that there was no Baltimore music scene.

Stereopools' "Freedom Finds You" was recorded and mixed at Les Lentz's LSP studio just outside Annapolis with Mike Best and the group at the controls. The group being Bob Sima with Words, music, vocals and guitar; Chris Ritsch on bass and backing vocals and some keys and guitar work; Gary Shenk on drums and percussion and Bryan Ewald lends some guitar licks.

As I listen to Sima's lyrics and vocal performance, I hear these little stylistic cues that make me think of Elvis, Bruce and Burton Cummings; the latter of the Canadian group, The Guess Who. Wrap around those influences the chops and plain talking lyrics of contemporary and stylish indierock, and that's Stereopool.

These guys are not just bashing out chords and wailing, I can hear, understand and appreciate the lyrics. That is a big plus. I like the thought, chops and arrangements behind the instrument tracks. Thy are a few drum happy moments when the ride cymbal and side stick get pushed up enough to mess with the vocals, but that doesn't happen very often.

If there is a weak link in the chain it's that Sima's vocals are the only vocals. Even though he's obviously made the leap from singer to vocalist with strength, control and versatility, the occasional backing vocals added by Chris Ritsch are not enough to keep the CD from sounding a bit "same-y". That can be said for a lot of groups out there. The efforts to change the sound of his vocals with more radical EQ and different reverbs are tips to me that they understand the problem and are in search of a solution.

Given what I hear on this CD, the best solution is continuing to use really strong material. The long term solution may be to think about adding equally well arranged vocal harmomies to take some burden off of Sima. Even so, however, this is a CD you can out in your player or Ipod and mix with national acts and it will seldom draw attention to itself.

Stereopool includes a music video on this CD. That's extremely cool and very savvy. Produced and directed by Noah Suchoff with a cast of about 20. The video fulfills the vision created by the song of "I Don't Know a Soul Here". The song is a good choice for a video. I remember "seeing" the action the first time I listened to the CD. There may be a few weird plot points – How did the protagonist get invited to the party in the first place? What happened to his car? He parked it in front of the house at the beginning of the video and we don't see it as he is ejected from the party – but otherwise it's a very good storytelling effort and raises the bar for every band in the Baltimore music scene. There, I said it again. Put Stereopool on your "Go See Live" list. This CD proves they deserve it - Maryland Music Monthly


Discography

(Instrumental, myself)

EP - No Voices, 1994
CD - Return Engagement, 1996
CD - 3rd Time's

(With Stereopool)

CD - Freedom Finds You, 2005

All music produced by SkipSound Productions except for Freedom Finds You.

Photos

Bio

The band was born in Locust Point and includes former members of such great local acts as "That's What She Said", "Stereopool" and others.