Mandana Beigi Two
Fat Katz 23)
From the Windy City
comes this 4-piece rock band with a great deal of classical sentiments and training.
Ted Atkatz, the principal percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, founded
the band while on a yearlong sabbatical from the CSO. He traded his drumsticks
for a Gibson acoustic guitar and a Nord Keyboard to put a different spin on his
musical energy. He wrote 12 songs and collaborated with the Chicagos finest
musicians including the trio who later joined him to form NYCO - Devin Staples
(drums, vocals), Kells Nollernberger (bass vocals), and Dave Saenger (guitar). Two is NYCOs
debut release and a solid effort by the band that took two years to write and
record it. Produced by the Grammy Award-winner, Jim Tullio (The Band, Mavis Staples),
the album is a perfect mix of classic rock and experimental sound. The arrangements
are simple but catchy, especially in tracks such as People We Know,
Surrender, and Soda Can. NYCO knows how to make the best
of its classical, jazz/funk influences through a more contemporary approach and
the soulful English Song is a great example of this unique fusion.
The albums theme, as titled and depicted on artwork, is two people and the
different states or directions that relationships go through. And although every
tune somehow connects back to that theme, the band still manages to creative enough
varieties in both melodies and lyrics to keep you hooked!
NYCO has developed a strong local following in Chicago and garnered significant
attention from major radio stations that helped bring bands like Wilco and the
Smashing Pumpkins into the mainstream. But whether or not NYCO is the type of
band that could (or should) go mainstream is still questionable! They are melodic
but not pop, classic rock but no fiery chords or solos, experimental but not too
risky. All in all, they have a likeable sound that would be greatly appreciated
by the indie-alternative scene.