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Studio E Rocks NYC

Submitted by on December 22, 2009 – 10:35 PMOne Comment
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The members of the New York City-based, independent band, Studio E will all admit that their band formed through a series of chance events that may seem in retrospect to be preordained and destined. Jason Steinhauer, a.k.a. Streets had scheduled a rehearsal session with a drummer for a potential band project – but that drummer had overslept and missed the rehearsal. Sitting around in the studio by himself, Steinahauer began asking people if they knew of a drummer he could jam with to spend the time when someone referred him to Edgar, his soon-to-be drummer who was just entering the rehearsal space to practice. The two men had an instant simpatico and decided that they should start a band together. CC, the band’s bassist knew Steinhauer through a mutual friend. The last member to join, Josh joined after he came across a Craigslist ad from the newly formed trio.

Indeed, with such an eclectic way of starting a band, it should be no surprise that the band claims some diverse influences such as classic rock, 70s funk, punk, emo, blues, Brit pop, swing and even traditional Indian music, and many of these influences on Studio E’s debut album gives them an oddly familiar yet difficult to pin sound. Songs like “All Good Americans (Take Off Their Shoes),” “Expensive Cigarettes,” and “Long Time Coming,” will remind more erudite listeners of some of some of Steely Dan’s jazz-inspired pop with a little bit more muscular insistence; however, there’s a sense much like on other debut albums that this band may be struggling to find their own unique sound. Also unfortunately, lead singer Steinhauer’s voice has a bit of an unpleasant nasal quality that can be difficult to adjust to and calls attention to a limited emotional range.

On repeat listens, it’s obvious that the band is tight unit and that teach member can follow their music ideas and digressions at a drop of a hat (which is what I believe is a sign of a talented band); however, one doesn’t need to be familiar with the New York music scene to feel as though they’ve come across a band that sounds much like Studio E at their local club or bar.

Overall, like countless other debut albums, Studio E manages a brash, almost bushy-tailed optimism and brashness and overall tight musicianship. It’s a fun album which makes me think that seeing them live will be just as fun – and yet, much like other bands debut efforts, it’s problematic. If Studio E can refine their sound to break themselves from the pack of similar sounding indie bands, they may very well have a bright future ahead of them.

Beer Pairing: Brooklyn Lager’s Pale India Ale. This golden brown/reddish beer has a kind of bittersweet taste that’s simple for the adventurous and erudite but can be for the beer drinking novice deceptively complex. On another level, it can be a bit of guilty pleasure to turn to when you’re in desperate need of a good time – and fast.

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