Every time a genre becomes popular, it fills with endless amounts of bands vying for a piece of the glory.  It becomes hard to separate good from bad, as over saturation reaches the point of dilution within the genre.  Indie rock, is one such genre. However crowded this elevator keeps getting, thankfully there are bands that want to stand out.  New York Rivals, is one such of those bands.  Are they indie, yes.  Are they alternative, yes.  Are they a rock and roll band, yes.  While it is not some amazing feat to span across genres, they are balancing it better than most.  For a band that just released their independent, self-titled record in October, they are drawing loads of attention and comparisons.  While they are worthy of these comparisons, it is hard to say for sure who or what they actually sound like.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/24029067″]I’m Not Ready Yet

The first track “I’m Not Ready Yet” came across to me as a Neon Trees esque, radio song.  The chorus is surprising with its tempo shift, and the earworm lyrics are well written.  Most of all, it makes you want to listen to more, because even with those indie leanings, you feel that there is something more the band has to offer.  Debut cds are usually categorized in two ways, game changing or a good start for a band.  Three tracks in, and “Follower” made me look at my iPod, and make sure this was the same band.  There was now a blend of Smashing Pumpkins and Muse, all within an indie rock realm.

Don’t get me wrong the sound is not a total 360, they still sound like themselves, but show how much more they are really capable of.  Singer and guitarist Josh Moran has serious vocal chops, and can come across as a modern day Billy Corgan.  A feat he is able to pull off live as well, I had the chance to catch them in their hometown of Brooklyn, and was impressed.  The guitar work is well above average for the songs, and is refreshing at a time when it is somewhat downplayed.  The riffs of Moran, and lead guitarist Eric Rudik, fall in the space between The Strokes and some heavier Cage The Elephant.  The group is rounded out with a solid rhythm section of Gianni Scalese on bass, and former Armor For Sleep drummer Nash Breen.

They are a new act, with a lot of room to grow and develop their sound.  New York Rivals’ release is a great starting point, and a solid start to a career.  Time will tell what kind of genres they get thrown in to, or what ones they will place themselves, and they absolutely are a band to watch in the year to come.

Listen to the full album below:

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1142087″ height=”200″]

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