The Courtesy Tier is always a surprise, sometimes even to themselves. Omer (guitar) and Layton (drums) have been playing together for the last seven years, but they weren't always a duo. As members came and went, they perpetually conceptualized themselves as a four and sometimes six piece band. Then, during their second winter in New York, the boys had run out of other band members. Regrouping in a closet size practice space under the Smith Street overpass, they finally had enough room to rehearse, and they liked the sound. By the following summer they were ready to record, but a New York budget requires some fanagaling. With three mic's in a seven by seven room "Map and a Marker" was born.
The Courtesy Tier is a two man cadre. Whether invoking Wilco, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix, or The Black Keys they synthesize the soul of rock with melodic blues. While a forerunner of the DIY movement in Brooklyn, they aren't your usual Brooklyn sound. The album name exemplifies their process: go with what you've got and you'll find your way there.
Although it won't spawn any new musical genres, The Courtesy Tier's Map and a Marker succeeds because of its direct and organic approach. Its five songs pulse with ringing guitars, insistent drums, soaring lead vocals and occasional background harmonies. A Brooklyn-based duo consisting of Omer Leibovitz (guitar/vocals) and Layton Weedeman (drums/vocals), the band approaches each track quite similarly, reducing the songs to their most basic elements. From opener "Buddy Casey" to closer "While I'm Gone," the songs' momentum never really lets up. There are few wasted notes and no extraneous filler here; even the sometimes-lengthy instrumental breaks found on most songs (especially "Friend") do not sound overindulgent in the least. - Eric Dennis, Spectrum Culture
There are many great duos in music today: The White Stripes, Matt & Kim, Tegan & Sara. Very soon, we will be able to add The Courtesy Tier to the ongoing list of duos making an impact. - Nicholas Palumbo, The Deli Magazine
Its the sound of an army of vigil antis lurking in the shadows, dwelling in their desire for some sort of vengeance. Courtesy Tier is a reminder that good things happen when you stick to the roots. - Sam Houghton, Knocks From The Underground
“We’ll play better for you if you show that you like us,” promised the frontman of Brooklyn’s The Courtesy Tier last Sunday night, from the Showroom stage at Pianos. He must have been satisfied by the audience’s response, as the cohesive guitar/drum duo gave their all throughout their vigorous eight-song set. Loud and gritty, and sounding something along the lines of The Black Keys on overdrive, The Courtesy Tier’s music was bluesy-rock mixed with a dash of chaos. The final song in particular seemed to form out of the turbulent ether, with an extended intro featuring soft mallets on cymbals and guitar din. Live looping and a darker, sparser sound set the third song apart from the others, while the fourth song featured a rare repeating melodic pattern in the guitar, turning the song into a kind of indie ballad.
Frenetic and intense, The Courtesy Tier rise.
'The Courtesy Tier' at Pianos - Meg Wilhoite
"Good stuff! [Layton Weedeman is] an excellent drummer and the two of you have a great energy on stage. I'm a big fan of morose, droney psych-inspired rock, so I dug it."
- Egon, Stones Throw Records