Nic Snyder and Josh Sickels could have chosen a more searchable moniker, but nothing reflects their unique rock and roll creations quite like 1,2,3. It's music that you can't just find with a general query, sequential in its relationship to the duos previous work, and rhythmically mesmerizing without being overly confusing. The band was formed as a response to the duo's frustration of being members of a touring band with limited creative freedoms, a mode of operation that just didn't jive with their punk roots in Pittsburgh. With plenty of chops and a thirst for penning new and exciting tunes, the duo formed 1,2,3 and recorded their minds preoccupations, much to the sonic delight of all who have experienced their riffs. Watch them emote through a couple of tracks off their debut New Heaven. It's a fresh look at their careers and for us, rock music in general.
The heartbeat that sparks the third song on 1, 2, 3's debut LP isn't just a flutter effect meant to set a melancholic mood. It literally symbolizes the start of a new life. Or in the case of Nicolas Snyder and Joshua Sickels, a crucial state of rebirththe next logical step after the "classic rock 'n' roll casualty story" of a band moving on from one project to the next.
While that project took more of a straight-laced approach to pop music, 1, 2, 3's songs are as stubborn as their name. In other words, good luck reducing New Heaven down to a tidy set of buzz words.
Or as Snyder puts it, "That's the general idea with this bandthat it doesn't belong to any specific genre, and that there aren't any preconceived notions about the name or who we are."
Take the aforementioned "Heat Lightnin'," for instance. Once you make it past Snyder's fragile vocals, a disembodied whistler, and several unidentified flying objects, one thing emergesa liquified bass line that seems to betalking. And then there are the many striking, speaker-panning elements that reward repeat listens elsewhere: the shimmering synths of "Lonesome Boring Summer," the swooning strings of "Wave Pool," the sucker punch percussion of "Work," the lethargic blues licks of "Just Like Heaven (is gone)," the restless riffs of "20,000 Blades," and, well, we'd go on but that'd take away half the fun of digging through 1, 2, 3's sonic detritus.