Review: “Into Tomorrow” by Stereocell

July 15, 2006

Stereocell’s CD notes don’t list musicians who may have influenced the band’s sound, but if Incubus isn’t one of them then lead singer Todd Riffel is a pseudonym of Brandon Boyd. Whatever.

I’m going to give my notes as I listened:

# Vocals sound like Incubus.
# Call this guitar-driven rock.
# “Suicide Hotline” a nice tune with great backing vocals.
# “Die Trying” has an unusual bass line.

Bored by the repetition halfway through. Songs – especially vocals – sound so similar that I can’t believe I haven’t heard the whole 50 minutes after about 15.

# Guitars refreshing on “I Want Out.” Vocals still wearing.
# “Forever” is good enough for radio any day. Great guitars. This one’s a keeper.
# Music seems to be trying to break free on “Inside” – vocals still the same.

This review may sound negative, but really, Stereocell is great at what they do. They just seem to hang a little too tightly onto one sound/formula. Breaking up the tempo, vocal urgency, anything, would help to clear the aural palate. I like mac & cheese, but give me a fish stick every now and then.

Overall, Stereocell sounds a lot like a lot of other bands. Perfect if you like what’s popular, but want to look edgy by dropping fringe band names. Hey, you can be cool without being original. Really. The mainstream music industry simply would not exist if this wasn’t true.

My advice is buy singles – especially “Forever” – on iTunes or equivalent, enjoy, then wait for the band’s next CD to see if they break it out. I suspect the band will sound better live, so hit up a show and let me know. Visit Stereocell.

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