Class Three Overbite began in June of 2006 when Michael Elgert and Bradley Jendza came together to write the songs they would love to hear. Sharing a love for bands like Queen, The Beatles, Jellyfish & Kiss, the songs poured out of them one after another. In March of 2007, CTO’s debut “Rendezvous” was released receiving great reviews and gaining fans around the world.
Now a little over a year later, Class Three Overbite has returned with their new release “Horses For Courses”. It’s filled with 12 songs of exquisite pop/rock for the world to enjoy. You’ll sing, you’ll dance, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll love it.
Pure, undiluted sophisticated power pop when delivered with aplomb and verve is a sight to behold. Typically, one is dealing with dense instrumental/vocal arrangements and melodically superior material. Now, let me be clear, in this particular definition I would include the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Zombies, Todd Rundgren, ELO, 10cc, Queen, Jellyfish and even Prince.
Well, thank goodness for Class Three Overbite who takes out an ambitious page from the storied books of the above luminaries. This latest album pulls out all the stops to deliver a eclectic sounding palette that will appeal to serious music listeners of all ages.
From the opening turbo-charged faux soul of Storm’s Coming to the spine-tingling wall of sound chamber pop charm of Sunshine to the McCartneyesque acoustic guitar-pickin’ Show the World to the slinky funked-up Porn Addict to the wah-wah led throbbing Beck-channeling Lex Luthor, Horses for Courses is a heady trip into the wonders of pristine power pop. And as the last gorgeous chords of the anthemic You’d Better Love rings, you’re left contemplating the completeness of this tangible evidence that if you look hard enough in this jaded, humorless and tuneless modern rock scene, you will still find beauty and grace that belonged to better days. Let Class Three Overbite take you there…
YEAH! Big TIME “Yeah!”. Please, Please – don’t read what’s here – just listen to all the music I put below. When music this good comes out, believe it or not, it’s hard for me write about it because my instinct is just to say “Don’t read, Listen!” This is one of those times. No question, will be in Top 10 List Of 2008. No Doubt.
Now, as you read these words, I hope you humored me a bit and if you didn’t like what you heard, you would be reading this as a supplement to that experience. SO what did we all experience, ya think? Me(and I have the benefit of hearing the whole album) it’s got so much that is SOO “Not Lame”. I hear some early Queen, Imperial Drag(yup, and some Jellyfish goes along w/ that), Electric Light Orchestra(Track 3 below), Bryan Scary, Roger Joseph Manning’s solo work and a whole host of others, but the band is not mimicking while it wallows in its insprirational launch-pads here with this killer batch of 12 songs(and not a bad one in the bunch!). There’s an encyclopedic embrace of just lots of great musical inspirations all over the place.
Class Three Overbite is a duo of Mike Elgert and Bradley Jendza. Elgert, whose "Days Gone By" is a must purchase(just a first-class indie power pop release all the way), has found a cool foil in Jendza as they bounce their many talents off each other and wind around many different place stylistically but it's all about 'the pop', beginning to end. The arrangements are accomplished and ambitious and all the songs are sweetly filled with layers of vocals and affects, this is a varied, textured album that makes their ambition and skill abundantly clear. As I said with their debut, “Rendezvous”, their songwriting approach reaches high but provide killer pay off in the hooks and melody departments--mandatory expectations here at Not Lame. The highest of high Extremely Highly Recommended here!
Mike Elgert and Brad Jendza have done it again. The duo known as Class Three Overbite has followed up their 2007 debut Rendezvous with perhaps an ever better disc this time with Horses for Courses. Lots of bands can capture the sound of the 70s, but few can capture its spirit, and CTO are one of those bands. Equal parts the sound of Queen, T-Rex, Jellyfish and other band who aren't afraid of putting some spunk in their power pop, Class Three Overbite still manages to not bite off more than it can chew.
That becomes apparent right off the bat with "Storm's Comin'", a cornucopia of falsetto vocalls, funky riffs, and guitars that rawk. If this one doesn't grab you, you may already be comatose. "Chasin' The Rabbit" sounds like a secular Rick Altizer fronting Queen, and "Sunshine" is Freddie Mercury gone flower child. "Reptiles" will make the day, if not week or month, of anyone who thinks the power pop world revolves around Jellyfish, and if there's any justice in the world, Paul Thomas Anderson will re-release the movie Boogie Nights with "Porn Addict" included in the soundtrack. "Wait For Me" is another standout with its Brian May guitar sound, "She Can't Make a Decision" is pure rock, and I always thought "Lex Luthor" deserved his own song. Finally, "You'd Better Love" is the perfect kind of overblown (and I mean that in a good way) power ballad to close out an album like this.
Coming back to their most profound influence, I'd say this is the best Queen album not named after a Marx Brothers movie that you'll find, and another year-end top-part-of-the-list contender to a year that started off slowly but is finishing strong.
Mike Elgert and Brad Jendza have added a big dose of funk to the power pop genre, that I haven't heard since Roger Manning Jr.'s Imperial Drag. This is pure power pop, no doubt with all the right touch points (Beatles, Beach Boys, Big Star, etc.). Everywhere I look on the internet, "Horses for Courses" is getting raves and kudos, and for good reason. Big thick guitar hooks on "Storm's Comin'" kicks out the jams, with glam organ and Hendrix-styled rhythm. "Chasing The Rabbit" takes the McCartney melodic chorus and adds a 10cc/Queen styled guitar attack that is pure bliss. "Sunshine" is mostly a smooth Queen-like ballad with sweet harmonies on top of orchestral strings and guitar solo breaks. Every single song here cranks up the goosebumps meter, even the ballad "Show The World" with it's "Mother Nature's Son" strum, shines with brilliance. The theatrical "Reptiles" with it's snarling guitar and elegant piano, drumbeat rhythm is on par with Bryan Scary and the Sheddding Tears. More 70's funk is found on "Porn Addict" and "Lex Luther" with a wah-wah sound that requires bellbottoms to dance to. The more muscular "She Can't Make A Decision" is a rocker along the lines of Kiss meets Stone Temple Pilots with the lead guitar swaggering along. With all this abundance of great music on one disc, Class Three Overbite easily makes my top ten of 2008 list this year. It should be on your list as well. 10.
“And, like their brilliant debut, this one's got it all - the Jellyfish (the sugar sweet the hooks, the big sound, the harmonies), Queen (the Brian May-like guitars, the harmonies), Beatles (see the two previous references), and Kiss (the touch of Glam) influences. "So how does a group that claims to sound like a mish-mash of Queen, Jellyfish, the Beatles, and Kiss handle themselves? Quite well, actually. Being a hopelessly devoted fan of those influences myself, I can hear a lot of Queen and the Beatles within Michael Elgert and Bradley Jendza’s songs. Now one thing must be made clear: while featuring a great deal of influence, they are in no way a Queen or Beatles rip-off. If anything, they learned extremely well from their heroes and became a band all their own. Simply put: Class Three Overbite has range, and they’re not afraid to show it!" - Indie-Music.com These guys have quickly risen to the top of the Power Pop mountain with their two solid releases! If you're any kind of fan of any of the aforementioned bands, then you NEED this one! “