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The Slow Wire

"" (CD)
amBiguous CITY! Records
Summer 2002

Analog Living

"Summer 2002 Sampler" (CD)
Songs: Analog Living, Varnish On
Reinforcement Records
Summer 2002


all photos by Chris Poppe, except last one by Bob Cardoni


The Slow Wire


Chris Gobo Pierce (Drums/Vocals), David Urbano (Vocals/Guitar), Mina Kelada (Guitar), Jason Skislak (Bass/Samples)

From darker shadows, healthy inspirations, and a newly invigorated vice for song manipulation (some call it inspired) comes the pile of demos and songs that didn't belong anywhere except with the slow wire. "I knew it was in me, somewhere hidden. And it wasn't a splinter." What came for guitarist/singer Dave Urbano was a jackpot full of dissonance, pop and oral transgressions that are sure to give you that extra sense you have been stalked before. Maybe not by Dave. Someone was taking notes, he claims, and dropped them in his head.

So he took a drummer he liked, Tommy Bendel, and said here is this riff, and it goes into this chord and that chord and I will try and sing, or pull something airy that sounds like singing which happens upon a melody or two. He coped. He showed him 11 more. Twenty minutes later he told him to meet on such and such a date in Hoboken and they were to start recording an album with Wayne Dorell at this studio the Pigeon Club, where Wayne has worked with Aviso'Hara (Urbano's other band in which he plays bass), True Love, and Yo La Tengo to mention just a few.

He says, "OK." And last March the sessions popped up on a periodic bullet-filled calendar making conclude at a mastering session with his very first-ever guitar teacher Alan Douches at West West Side. The news made Alan feel old to say the least. "Right after my very first guitar lesson I can remember that I knew one day I wanted to invent my own style of playing. What I didn't know is that it would involve keyboards to create texture, lots of guitar mistakes, and take a long time to develop."

On, he took a whole bunch of songs from 4-tracks amassed, wrote many new ones, and smashed some out the window. Decided he didn't want anybody else playing on them, except for Wayne and Amy Jacob of Prosolar Mechanics. Simultaneously penning lyrics that describe the soundscapes which were written to someone he had not yet met.

Then he decided he wanted a band to go along witt this new rock flavor. Morgan Chen, old friend and comrade of the Make-Out Party, seemed to be nerdy enough about guitars and music; he came first. Tommy dropped out, so the next sure bet was his old buddy Chris Pierce (doc hopper/sinkhole) in the drummer role. He still needed a bass player besides himself. Dave realized that this DJ Skiz "was pretty damn good and could pull it off with one arm. Not that the music is all that difficult; it's just if you consider the time spent to come up with this collection." Urbano concludes, "It's one of those things that just doesn't happen overnight. You just wake up one day and it's there for the taking."


David Urbano is the bass player for the great Aviso Hara, and while that band is currently on hiatus as they gear up for a (hopefully soon) influx of cashflow for further recording, Dave has been writing his own songs & put together The Slow Wire, which currently is the best cd I have heard all year out of any band from New Jersey. Of course I immediately want this review's attention to go to their brilliant 80's New-wavey cover of Guided By Voices "Motor Away" but that would be shortchanging the brilliant original songs that Urbano has put together… farfisa keys underlay strum-pop indie rock & the voice of Dave is sly & monotonous like Imperial Teen pulls off often… the one drawback to this cd is the silly and blasphemous parody of the best song to ever exist on the planet, "Sympathy For The Devil" by The Rolling Stones. I will forgive them, but it will take awhile. That aside, this is pretty much a perfect indie pop album. Find some mp3's of this band, check them out, and fucking buy this album, put the songs on mixes for your friends, request them on 3WK, drive to the east coast & see them live, get some stickers, put them on your car, wear their shirts to school, and if you are bored, spray paint their name underneath the most prominent bridge in town. (4 Stars)
- GY, Torpedo Magazine

On Analog Living, The Slow Wire appealingly mixes the standard guitar-bass-drums setup with Moog and Wurlitzer noodling to weave a near-perfect indie pop pastiche. At times redolent of of Superchunk, Seam, and other indie pop stalwarts, The Slow Wire nevertheless presents a contribution to that canon worthy of its own recongnition with this collection of ten tracks and three untitled bonus songs. "Super Glue" mixes singer-songwriter-guitar-bassist-keyboardist David Urbano's vocals with those of Amy Jacob (who provides backing vocals0); It's by the airiest track on the album, but the male-female hamonies put a pretty spin on the song's catchy formula/ "Badweather Friend" is a lish, dreamy, synth-based slow drone; while the title track that immediately follows shifts into a driving,s traight-up rock 'n roll groove. "Pixel Addict", one of the most conventionally catchy yet aesthetically arresting tracks on the album, demonstrates the band's clear Pixies influences. Analog Living avoids the irritating shoegazer tendencies so ingrained in many of The Slow Wire's contemporaries, and while it's not a groundbreaking record, it's a smooth and infectious effort that's all the more welcome in an era in which good new pop records are too hard to find.
- Amanda Cantrell, Pop Culture Press

Considering the recent role reversal where indie rock—not pop—will eat itself (from garage rock to Ryan Adams, it’s all textbook revisionism), it’s damn refreshing to hear the contained roar of a staunch do it yourselfer ring a new tune. In The Slow Wire’s case, its moonlighting Aviso’Hara bassist Dave Urbano laying fresh focus on a saturated approach. Neither referencing the Stonsey swagger of the White Stripes, the velvety drone of The Strokes nor The Kinks kick of the Mooney Suzuki, The Slow Wire instead drop enthralling moody power pop shot without a flash. With not a wasted note to be found, the maximally efficient is a marked departure from Aviso’Hara. Trimmed of excess noise with no dissonance merely for the sake of, is liberatingly free of pretense. Enlisting the soaring vocal support of Prosolar Mechanics’ Amy Jacob, “Super Glue” pops like rock candy, and “Badweather Friend” is so darkly lilting Urbano barely rises above a sustained, albeit dramatic whisper. Not forsaking his roots, the title track is a hearty reminder that Mr.Urbano still knows how to rock and will do so anytime he damn well pleases. Crafted as a complete album with every cohesive note piecing the puzzle together, The Slow Wire’s post-everything punk re-acquaints indie rock with its progressive roots –not regressive—roots. Grade A
- Chris Uhl, Music Editor, Arts Weekly

“Analog Living” by The Slow Wire out of New Jersey is an amazing album to say the least. The songs are incredible but the sheer production aspect of this album is what intrigues me the most. The album was basically created by one man — David Urbano (with the exception of a Guided by Voices cover). He wrote every original song on the album, contributed two guitar tracks he wrote for each song, played the bass and the additional keyboard riffs that supply the album with the overall melody. Oh yeah. He sings too. Despite a few drum loops, it’s all Urbano. With the commanding aspect Urbano has over the album and its laid back, rhythmic sound, it shares a striking resemblance to everybody’s favorite band Weezer. Urbano obviously has the kind of control and overall vision of what he wants his albums to sound like much like the way Rivers Cuomo does when it comes to writing his albums. Even though Cuomo has a little production assistance from Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, which might help. I’ll probably take flack for saying so, but I feel the best way to sell a CD is to simply say that it sounds like Weezer. Weezer’s style is definitely more amped and while The Slow Wire doesn’t exactly “go to 11,” their songs stay etched in one’s memory for weeks at a time until you put in the record and listen to its delightful tunes. Now don’t get me wrong, “Analog Living” isn’t quite the sequel to “Pinkerton,” it just has that unique quality that makes Weezer’s music so enjoyable to listen to. A pop sound that can’t really be defined just heard and enjoyed. There is so much more that goes into this album than just guitars, drums and lyrics. It’s multi-dimensional with synthesizers and a fancy production quality that completes the album. For those students hanging out in the Blacksburg area for spring break, The Slow Wire will be performing at Baylee’s in downtown Blacksburg March 9 with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and The Most (formerly The National Trust.) Check out “Analog Living,” go see the live show which is probably just as amazing as the album and send me an email thanking me for having such great musical insight.
- Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

"There are echoes of Guided by Voices, Magnetic Fields, Superchunk, Britpop. the Elephant Six Collective's neo-psychedelia, and lots more, mixing guitars and synths (Moog and Wurlitzer organ) with harmony vocals and head-bobbing beats (drums mostly by Tommy Bendel now inPlug Spark Sanjay). From the winsome innocence of "Super Glue" to the Crazy Horse grunge of "Analog Living" to the slow loping pop whimsy of "Pixel Addict," Slow Wire keeps throwing different textures, tempos, and dynamics at you withe a casual grace that's a180 degree twist from the sonic train-wreck of Aviso'hara."
- Jim Testa, Jersey Beat

Really nice moody and melodic guitar rock. The Slow Wire is the brainchild of David Urbano...a young gentleman with the voice and songwriting skills to go far. This album was recorded at Wayne Dorell's Pigeon Club. The thick compositions on are smart and energetic...but there's a strong melodic sense that pushes them to another level. Urbano's vocal style is just right. His breathy vocals are in that perfect part of the mix in between the guitars and the bass...and he makes it all sound like it takes no effort at all (which we are certain is actually NOT the case...). The tunes, are, for the most part direct and to the point...with little excess in terms of overdubs and arrangements. Plenty of good, heady, alternative guitar rock here... Our particular favorites are "Crossed Wires," "Medicine," "Pixel Addict" (great song AND great song title), and "Untitled Somehow." Killer tunes, killer delivery... (Rating: 5 out of 5)
- Baby Sue

"Urbano himself should also be proud, as he has turned a string of loose ideas into a nifty side project worthy of a headlining gig. What could have been a tacky concept album, or a beleaguered bassist's nonsensical moment in the spotlight, instead proves that Urbano can perform quitewell in that spotlight, thank you, and that The Slow Wire deserves more than the dreaded "side project" status. I never knew I'd want to go back to 1995, but took me there and reminded me how much fun alt-rock could be."
- Justin Kownacki, Splendid E-Zine


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