Oh No Not Stereo - Oh No Not Stereo (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Oh No Not Stereo

Oh No Not Stereo (2007)


Oh No Not Stereo are certainly a peculiar breed. For one, the credits on the inside of the digipak cite the band as a duo, with Sky Nelson on guitar, vocal, and bass on tracks 3 and 6, and Myk Agee playing drums and lead guitar on track 3. Yet on any videos of the band, like this one, they perform as a trio. Down the list of credits is Josh Hogan, who gets credit for playing bass on tracks 1, 2, 4, 5 and also doing vocals and guitar on track 3. It almost seems like the climax of a Jerry Seinfeld joke, but what's the deal with a three-person duo? Why is Josh Hogan getting the shaft as an "additional musician" while playing bass on the majority of the songs?

Just as perplexing (and perhaps more flattering) is the band's ability to draw on influences as diverse as Refused, the Bronx, Journey and Queen as well as creating a genre-crossing sound that is equal parts pop-punk, emocore, and modern rock. While the amalgamation of such genres may look very similar to what Jamie Woolford and Rory Phillips' second band the Stereo did (perhaps subliminally, due to the name), but ONNS provides a much heavier sound, with melodies more akin to contemporary radio rock than the classic pop melodies of Woolford and Phillips.

If you've clicked the link above, you've already heard the album-opening instrumental conveniently titled…well, "Instrumental," so it probably needs no explanation from a sonic perspective. "Where Are You Now" follows suit with the same energetic music, this time incorporating the strong and catchy vocals that dominate the EP's six songs. "One More Thing I Love" is a typical musical tribute to the band's home state of California, highlighting the beauty of the ocean and the sun shining down. "Burn the City Down," despite the punk-errific title, is one of the slowest and most melodic tracks on the EP that is still a pretty good listen despite the relatively lethargic pace. "Every Link in the Chain" may be the catchiest song on the album while bordering on pop-punk, and sounds exactly like something one might hear on modern rock radio.

My one qualm with this band (aside from their silly duo gimmick) is their name. Who wants to admit to liking a band called "Oh No Not Stereo?" The same goes for you, Stole Your Woman. And you, Paperface. Eh, maybe it's a Takeover thing.

All relatively insignificant misgivings apart, Oh No Not Stereo may just be the next big thing. As soon as this fad of emo drama queens and tough guy terribleness like Puddle of Mudd and Saliva is forcibly removed from the airwaves, Oh No Not Stereo is the perfect band to emerge. Already garnering fans and widespread distribution from their deal with Takeover Records, it will be interesting to see how far this DIY-raised band can go, and if they can do it all on an independent label. Their six-song EP has certainly proved the band's worth, and a full-length will be the telling sign of what's to come for Oh No Not Stereo.