Rock and roll is more than music. It's also a feeling, a mixture of exuberance, teen angst and at least three power chords. It's an unscripted art form, taking song hooks and crossing them with aural aggression and the accidental feedback left in the mix. At it' s best rock and roll can change lives, it can make you believe. And at it's best, it sounds like The Stereotypes.
This enterprising San Diego quintet delivers the goods with their debut album, aptly titled "1". Garage rock fans will fall all over themselves, from the opening staccato chords and hand claps of the incessantly catchy "The Night Before", but there is much more than meets the eye here. Check out the classic 80's big guitar sound that envelopes, "Women In Magazines", as melodic a song as you're gonna hear. You'd swear it's a lost hit. And that's the key- great songs you want to hear over and over. But there's more. There's beats mixed with acoustic guitars, drenched over distorted vocals and what sounds like a mellotron, as well as slightly Eastern European folk phrasing on "Sleepover", and then there's moody Velvet's-ish introspection on the sparse, yet compelling "Saturdays". On an album dripping with potential hits, top tracks seem to be the minor chord gem "I Know Now" and especially the driving "Come To Say Hello", but all the tracks here are should be radio perrenials. It's a sterling debut album, an embarrassment of riches.
The band consists of Mike Kamoo - guitars/ production, John Finkbiner - vocals, Dante Conti - guitar, Tim Hines- bass, and irrepressible Bobby Shaddox on drums, and all have served time in various combos which you likely even have in your record collection as we speak. But that's irrelevant to what we have here. This is about NOW!, and about a band with an explosive batch of songs that'll make you want to crank up the stereo and jump around. Most importantly it'll remind you of why you liked rock and roll in the first place. The Stereotypes are only months old, but they have already created a major impact on the Southern California music scene. Not holding back one iota, the band is already unleashing a slew of new tunes on area music fans with an eye to following up their frankly killer album a.s.a.p. If they come to your town, don't miss their manic, inspired performances. If you don't have that opportunity, set your CD player to 11, grab your air guitar, and simply enjoy the music. It rarely gets better than this.
Alan Fleagle London, England