Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

February 1, 2012

Uncle Bob NYC ~ From 14th ... 10011

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: pop rock, folk rock, hard rock
Label: Rockspeak
Year: 2012
Home: New York City

Members: Bob Strano ~ vocals/guitar
Billy Ficca ~ drums

Guests: Clem Burke ~ drums
Sami Yaffa ~ bass
Gary Lucas ~ guitar

From the singer-songwriter-guitarist who has found some buzz in England with his modest "Pictures Of Kate", a tribute to chanteuse Kate Moss, comes this album of homespun stories recalling the similiar rock singer-songwriter mindset of Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Paul Weller, the Kinks' Ray Davies & even the New York Dolls. But, UBNYC is obviously no small town rocker crying just the blues, but a Big Apple boy who might occasionally be seen on stage strumming an acoustic guitar but underneath it has a youthful CBGB's era punk feeling in his soul & a bit of Beatnik bohemianism in the pop culture themed poetry. In his earlier EP with his group the 3tles, featuring guitarist Sam Andrew of Big Brother & The Holding Company & drummer Billy Ficca from Television, UBNYC paved a somewhat sparce sound of acoustic balladeer against a top notch rhythm section. From 14th ... 10011 brings things to a new exciting rock'n'roll level. The acoustic guitar remains but now is a backdrop to classic rock-esqe streaming guitar lines & electric rhythms reminiscent of the guitar team of Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner of Lou Reed & Alice Cooper fame ... though in this case its UBNYC taking both parts. On the whole, the album largely moves in between two feelings that might be best said to be, on one hand, the post-Stooges Iggy Pop, even in his vocal style at times (i.e. the single "She Don't Know Me", "Twenty Four Eight 24/8"), to the poetic ramblings against intricate upbeat backgrounds of Elvis Costello & The Attractions (i.e. "The Wind, The Rain, You & Me"). There's even a bit of Rolling Stones & some heavily distorted guitar lines that will probably please Sonic Youth fans. Then there's "Joe's Tune", written for UBNYC's father, that comes out of nowhere with an unexpectantly gritty early Springsteen bar band sound. Joining UBNYC in this new release is drummer Billy Ficca, whose been playing with UBNYC since the 90's, though Blondie drummer Clem Burke steps in for a song, so does bassist Sami Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks & the reunited New York Dolls & Gary Lucas from Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. From 14th ... 10011 is a classic rock feast in both sound & members. Though, UBNYC's work with the 3tles has already given away his classic influences as the name comes from a bootleg that nicknamed the remaining Beatles 'the Threetles' during the recording of their Anthology series. For those that know UBNYC only in context with the 3tles this long-awaited solo release is a welcome surprise & you'll do a double take seeing how wide UBNYC's range is that he's got tucked up his sleeve deceptively hidden behind the simple "Pictures Of Kate". Vocally UBNYC has a deep voice that recalls the bar bands of John Caffery or rough Springsteen. This was more obvious on his earlier release but now against the wall of electric guitar rhythms with the acoustic tucked away into the mix UBNYC has turned from the path of an East Village singer-songwriter into exciting rocker territory. Let alone, he now shows off his guitar prowess far more than ever & its an addictive listen that won't disappoint.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 41 & 42 (2 part) "Interview: Uncle Bob NYC," February 2012, click here to listen)

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