Hands on the Stereo - Hands on the Stereo EP
Release Date: June 19, 2010
Record Label: Unsigned
Hands on the Stereo are a five-piece pop punk band from New Jersey. Featuring Chris Cunha on vocals, Dave Falcone and Rob Bednarz on guitars, Corey Reilly-Davis on bass, and Matt Trawinski on drums and backup vocals, the group play an upbeat, happy hardcore style of pop punk. The Hands on the Stereo EP is their debut EP and is independently released.
How Is It?
The EP features a surprisingly polished sound for a young pop punk band. It is also stunningly well produced considering that the band aren't currently signed, which can be attributed to producer Mike Oettinger (Man Overboard, Transit). Hands on the Stereo are comparable to Four Year Strong and Set Your Goals in their instrumentation. A fast-paced tempo keeps the EP moving along, accompanied by catchy guitar hooks and heavy breakdowns. Additionally, Four Year Strong fans will notice that this group's name comes from an FYS lyric.
Opener "Party Baker" starts things off right with a breakdown that gets you moving right away. Cunha's vocals aren't as heavy as the vocals featured on the aforementioned comparisons, though, and he never incorporates screams. His voice is clear and defined, a bit like Matt Wilson from Set Your Goals but not as high-pitched. Hands on the Stereo do frequently make use of gang vocals and they are always well-executed.
The middle four songs on the six-song EP are worthwhile, but are overshadowed by their bookends. "Tara" is highlighted by its explosive chorus, fun bass line, and a nice breakdown. "I Know Who You Are" is a little more mellow at times and displays what might be the best musicianship on the EP. Cunha's vocals also shine on this track. "Show 'Em What You're Made Of" is a great sing-along track with yet another chorus that sticks to your tongue.
Finally, closer "Can't Stop Kids Like Us" is certainly the strongest track on the Hands on the Stereo EP. An uplifting guitar riff gets it going and the three-and-a-half minute track is Hands on the Stereo's most complete effort. Gang vocals litter the song, Cunha demonstrates his best performance, and the guitar lines are on target throughout.
I always write about how strong the New Jersey pop punk scene is, and Hands on the Stereo are definitely a band that you can expect to be in the mix in the future. They'll be sure to get noticed while they continue to play local shows, and if they keep up their DIY mentality then I have no doubt that they'll be able to make an impact on the genre.