Two Shots of Rye
Gig Seeker Pro

Two Shots of Rye

Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

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

Music

Press


"Two Shots of Rye - Hooks on Tape"

In this week’s episode of “Making Connections: One Boy’s Attempt to Link Himself With Talented Strangers,” we find our hero, Blake Solomon, explaining his reasons for continually reviewing albums made in bedrooms or living rooms or bathrooms or backyards or…


I got an email today asking for my opinion on something because I’m “in the industry.” What was I doing when this little ego boost found its way into my inbox? I was shopping for khaki pants and penny loafers with my mother. Then I mowed my grandparents’ lawn. Shortly after that I read random Wikipedia pages. (Spring Break ’08: The hits keep coming.) “A Coward’s Lullaby” might have been written and recorded in similar circumstances. I’m not implying Two Shots of Rye dress like preps on crack, but I’m saying real life was caringly shoved aside to make Hooks On Tape a reality. Despite the fact that this band has talent and I just pound my hairy palms on a keyboard and hope words come out, we’re not so different. I’m not sure what industry we actually belong to, but I would love if you’d join our ranks. Our motto could be: "C’mon mom! Meatloaf again? I’m moving out! Stop cheering! That was a test, mom. Now I’m really moving out." It needs work, but I’ll have to fix it later. It’s time to go clean the gutters.

What an annoying paragraph.

Two Shots of Rye is like the pop-rock you thought doesn’t (or rather, can’t) exist anymore. They are the new incarnation of bands you equated with a life full of possibilities. You’re probably too jaded to believe such things, but “Eight-Nineteen” is a summer smash. A playful riff and smooth vocals from Mike Podwal ready the listener for 12 songs of big choruses, friendly wailing and accessibility. All of those things are cliché, especially on this site, but when did that stop you? “I’ll Always Be Running” is a bit darker, but its vocal harmonies are oh-so-sweet. The song’s soulful guitar solo makes me think about what Cartel could do if they stopped shaving their pubes into dollar signs. “Guess I Believed” isn’t Mike Podwal’s swan song since this band will release more music, but the way he dances around low notes and a high falsetto is good enough that he could just stop here and call it a career. Podwal is reminding us that the nasally vocal strain of his peers isn’t the only way to get a point across.

“The Longing” is an obligatory, but worthwhile, acoustic ballad. Thankfully, the song features enough dynamic shifts and drums to avoid being easily cast aside. Everything on Hooks On Tape may have been done in one form or another before, but in my opinion, improving a well-known formula is just as good as creating something completely new. There’s steep competition to judge a summer-ready pop-rock release against, and Hooks On Tape holds up.

I tend to only mention the singer’s name in these review thingys, but Ariel Podwal (guitar), Dane Sannicandro (bass) and Andy X (drums) know a thing or two about writing a song that gets lodged in your brain’s pleasure center. Crisp guitars, excellent production values and fun-fun-fun characterize Two Shots of Rye most effectively. If the acoustic guitar accents and driving rock verses of "The Perfect Alibi" don't do it for you, just quit now. Let’s hope the “real” “industry” takes notice soon.


Recommended If You Like: Third Eye Blind, Elvis Costello, happy-go-lucky phone conversations, Gillmor, funny tattoos - Absolutepunk.net


"Two Shots of Rye - Hooks On Tape"

Two Shots of Rye - Hooks On Tape (9/10)
by David Taintor

Two Shots Of Rye are a four piece pop-rock band from New York, and chances are you haven’t heard of them. I definitely hadn’t before reviewing this album. When I hear a band like this, one that I am so instantly blown away by, I am floored by the fact that there must be an infinite number of bands existing in the rock and roll world that are making unbelievable music that I may never hear –unless I were to dig for it. One of the perks of writing for this site is the opportunity to hear music that we might not have been exposed to otherwise.

Two Shots Of Rye open Hooks On Tape with “Eight-Nineteen,” and imagery ranging from airport arrival gates to chemically induced sleep. Think Guster meets Ted Leo and the Pharmacists meets Third Eye Blind and you’re almost there. Buoyant guitars and hooks-for-days set high standards for the remainder of Hooks On Tape. The chorus swings and lush melodies are set to vivid lyrics.

“Don’t Get Carried Away” lives up to the promise that was established before it. A subdued intro quickly expands into a surge of guitars and keyboard swells. Mike Podwal treats us to laid back vocals and actually displays an impressive range without sounding stressed or forced. His conversational vocals mesh well with the punctuated guitars when he sings, “it’s too soon to give you new names using old nouns.” Forget trying to get this song out of your head, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

It would be inaccurate to call Two Shots Of Rye just an indie pop band; because in some ways that term cheapens can a band. So what? We’ve all heard a million indie pop bands – some are good, but many miss the mark. Sure, there are conventional song structures and plenty of major keys to be found here – the title of the record is, after all, Hooks On Tape, and it’s to be expected. But, there is also relentless energy and bounding confidence to be found. Verses are so self-assured and choruses are so harmonic that you will be begging Two Shots Of Rye to keep delivering these kinds of songs to you – and you won’t be disappointed (again, why hadn’t I heard of this band before?).

“The Longing” lightens things up with the band’s use of acoustic instruments but retains the distinct character of the music while “Fall Back” and “The Perfect Alibi” rock with raking guitars and wailing vocals.

Hooks On Tape is a record with evidence of extreme care taken on each song. Not obsessing necessarily, but attention is paid to each instrument and arrangement. Two Shots Of Rye surely deserve every pairs of ears that are lucky enough to hear them. This is one band that deserves to be pulled from the vacuum that is the rock and roll microcosm and exposed to the masses. It’s sunny and strummy and everything you could hope to hear this summer and, really, the rest of the year. Tell your friends, tell your parents, your neighbors and everyone else you know about this band.

- TheDailyChorus.com


"Two Shots of Rye - Hooks On Tape"

Two Shots of Rye - Hooks On Tape (9/10)
by David Taintor

Two Shots Of Rye are a four piece pop-rock band from New York, and chances are you haven’t heard of them. I definitely hadn’t before reviewing this album. When I hear a band like this, one that I am so instantly blown away by, I am floored by the fact that there must be an infinite number of bands existing in the rock and roll world that are making unbelievable music that I may never hear –unless I were to dig for it. One of the perks of writing for this site is the opportunity to hear music that we might not have been exposed to otherwise.

Two Shots Of Rye open Hooks On Tape with “Eight-Nineteen,” and imagery ranging from airport arrival gates to chemically induced sleep. Think Guster meets Ted Leo and the Pharmacists meets Third Eye Blind and you’re almost there. Buoyant guitars and hooks-for-days set high standards for the remainder of Hooks On Tape. The chorus swings and lush melodies are set to vivid lyrics.

“Don’t Get Carried Away” lives up to the promise that was established before it. A subdued intro quickly expands into a surge of guitars and keyboard swells. Mike Podwal treats us to laid back vocals and actually displays an impressive range without sounding stressed or forced. His conversational vocals mesh well with the punctuated guitars when he sings, “it’s too soon to give you new names using old nouns.” Forget trying to get this song out of your head, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

It would be inaccurate to call Two Shots Of Rye just an indie pop band; because in some ways that term cheapens can a band. So what? We’ve all heard a million indie pop bands – some are good, but many miss the mark. Sure, there are conventional song structures and plenty of major keys to be found here – the title of the record is, after all, Hooks On Tape, and it’s to be expected. But, there is also relentless energy and bounding confidence to be found. Verses are so self-assured and choruses are so harmonic that you will be begging Two Shots Of Rye to keep delivering these kinds of songs to you – and you won’t be disappointed (again, why hadn’t I heard of this band before?).

“The Longing” lightens things up with the band’s use of acoustic instruments but retains the distinct character of the music while “Fall Back” and “The Perfect Alibi” rock with raking guitars and wailing vocals.

Hooks On Tape is a record with evidence of extreme care taken on each song. Not obsessing necessarily, but attention is paid to each instrument and arrangement. Two Shots Of Rye surely deserve every pairs of ears that are lucky enough to hear them. This is one band that deserves to be pulled from the vacuum that is the rock and roll microcosm and exposed to the masses. It’s sunny and strummy and everything you could hope to hear this summer and, really, the rest of the year. Tell your friends, tell your parents, your neighbors and everyone else you know about this band.

- TheDailyChorus.com


Discography

For Life Has Just Begun EP
Hooks on Tape - Debut Full Length

Photos

Bio

Hailing from the glass canyons of NY/NY, Two Shots of Rye have just released their life-affirming, chills-inducing debut album, Hooks on Tape.

The band plays unabashed, hooky pop-rock. Some people tell them they sound like Elvis Costello, or Third Eye Blind. It's flattering. 2007 saw them self-producing the album in Mike (sings/strums) and Ariel (shreds) Podwal's childhood home, much to dad's delight. Converting living rooms into live rooms and vestibules into vocal booths, bassist Dane Sannicandro took on engineering duties as they entered the abyss of self-recording. Drummer Andy Fligel triumphantly recorded all of his drums over just two days. The rest of the guys took… longer. The band emerged from the thicket after 18 months, armed with a shiny collection of well-crafted pop songs.

There was, of course, great help from the outside world. Mike Kalajian (The Audition) and Bryan Russell (Straylight Run) lent their enormous production and engineering talents at various stages. Through Russell, the band was introduced to Claudius Mittendorfer (Panic at the Disco, Brand New, Muse), who signed on to mix the album.

Moving from the studio to the stage, the band is focused on playing locally as much as possible. In recent years, they've played shows with venerable acts like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Paramore. Stay tuned for more action.

Hooks on Tape is available via iTunes and the band's own e-store @ twoshosofrye.com. The e-store offers high-quality MP3's for $7.99 and limited edition CD's in silk-screened packaging for $11.99.