Oh dear...it seems I’m showing my age when I say this, but I remember when Steriogram first hit the scene eleven years ago now. They were young, silly and full of hits that you could barely sing along to due to the energetic longhaired hooligan, Tyson Kennedy. In 2004, their debut album found the shelves with an outstanding response, allowing the band to release a grand total of six tracks to our radio airwaves, along with an array of colorful videos, which are still getting a hammering today.
Next came This Is Not The Target Market, followed by the formation of front man, Brad Carter’s band, Pistol Youth, and then Kennedy’s move to New York. To the naked eye things appeared to die down for a while on the Steriogram front, but all is good and well with the creation of their latest album to be released in New Zealand – Taping The Radio.
For those of you addicted toSchmack!, you’ll be pleased to learn that there’s approximately four ounces on the album just waiting for you to inject directly into your bloodstream. With tracks like Shamoe, Skinny Runt Revolution, Texas Beauties and the ever popular single, White Trash, your fix will most likely be filled to give way to an evolved sound that the band have produced on the eleven track disc.
Third tune, Taping The Radioeases you into the new sound, followed by Ready For Action, which has a tinge of Pistol Youth to it. They’re both slower than the ‘typical gram’ and may confuse some first-time listeners who are used the lads’ singles. Indie hip-hop artist, Random Impulse makes an appearance in Kevvo, which made me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable at first listen, but his part is only a short-sharp prick, and it’s now become one of my favorite bits on the disc.
No Ordinary Man and Moving On are ridiculously easy to get into and I have no doubt that you’ll be singing along come the end these two. Even if you are just ‘woah-yeahing’, you’ll be feeling a little more in tune with their sound that seems to have taken quite some influence from Carter’s LA-based project.
I’m not such a fan of drinking whiskey, and it seems I’m the same when it comes to listening to the song. Possibly due to the fact that it brings back so many bad memories of late nights in dingy pubs with alcohol-soaked floors, mixed with the strong scent of cigarettes and BO coming from ‘yucky old men’. In saying all that, this is a fun tune and I can imagine it being quite the hit with the kids. Two Day Hangover conveniently finishes the album – a hard and fast one showing of Kennedy’s much-loved energy that I’ve come to miss. Taping The Radio is good, but I think I need a hit of Schmack! to finish me off.
Words by Amanda Ratcliffe
The story of Steriogram begins in New Zealand's North Island, June of 1999. Brad and Jake, longtime friends from a tiny town called Whangarei meet up with Tim and Tyson who have been friends for years in Auckland, and they start playing shows around the area as a melodic rock four-piece. Making a name for themselves with a manic live show they quickly start to build a loyal local following.
They start touring, booking and organizing everything themselves while devoting less and less time to day jobs. Meanwhile the sound is developing as Tyson starts bringing his rap vocals into the mix. Realising the need for a full-time drummer, they enlist mutual friend Jared who actually OWNS a drumkit.
The band releases the song 'White Trash' in August 2001 on their own label, Sumo Music and shoots the 'White Trash' video on a shoestring budget and a whole lot of favours. The song brings in airplay on various local and nationwide NZ radio stations as well as a good amount of Music Television play.