Stereo is the Answer

Live review from 16th Anniversary Party:

1. The Door
2. City in the Ocean
3. Gears
4. Why?
5. Chemicals

Hong Kong certainly loves a throwback ’90s indie band, and Stereo Is The Answer might be one of the finest the city has to offer. The band have made their mark all over Asia, having performed in Taiwan and Japan and scooping up many awards in Hong Kong for their tight performances. One of the most distinctive aspects of the band is lead singer Stephen’s falsetto vocals, which evokes Mew’s Jonas Bjerre in its softer moments, building to the strength of 30 Seconds To Mars’ Jared Leto when he really wants to let it rip. While it is fairly difficult to find true originality in the music, songs were executed with grace and gravitas.

Jimmy delivered some interesting drum work on Gears, which brought to mind The Script in its radio-friendly, soft rock ambiance. Why? piled on an emotive intro Coldplay would have been proud of in a soft, delicate and twinkling song that pulled at the heartstrings. This wistfulness carried over to final song Chemicals, which was both affectionate and affecting, and left a lingering sadness with its solemn drone and clear, raw vocals. Stereo are a band that are doing the city proud inside and outside Hong Kong and tonight was no different: they sent a rousing “Happy birthday” to The Underground with a polished set that toyed with emotions and left even the rowdiest punters momentarily calm and reflective.
– El Jay

Live review from Planetrox China Final 2015:

1. Pascal Seven
2. Re
3. The Dreamer
4. Chemicals

第二隊上台演出的是Modern Rock樂隊Stereo is the Answer(SITA)。SITA是當晚唯一有Keyboard編制的樂隊,一時像流星般的點綴,一時則默默的配合著其他樂器,的確令他們的音樂生色不少,有畫龍點睛之用。〈Pascal Seven〉一開始只用結他作引子,後加入點點Keyboard相和應,再以鼓點和貝斯帶起節奏,像突然打破本來平靜的湖面上泛起陣陣漣漪,令觀眾精神為之一振,亦叫驚喜。及後節奏上的變化時而從容、時而緊湊,亦豐富了樂曲的質感。男主音的聲線運用和唱腔處理也令人注目,高音假音的部分甚為突出,但聲線還是略為薄弱。〈Re〉中間的女和音在帶點頹廢沈重的旋律中清新突出,感覺空靈。〈The Dreamer〉貝斯手以靈巧精彩的Slapping配合鼓點帶出跳脫的節奏,貫穿整曲。整體輕鬆搖擺,玩味甚重,令觀眾容易投入。最後的〈Chemicals〉以較緩慢的節奏帶領觀眾步入另一個嶄新清爽的空間。間奏Keyboard突出,鼓點也有特別處理,惟女和音聲量稍弱,聽起來有點吃力。
– Jacqueline Tang

Stereo is the Answer, a 4 piece band that swept the stage, was a very technical band that seemed to span across some interesting genres. A post-rock like soundtrack introduces us to the slightly math-rock break into an energetic first song “Pascal Seven” that had very catchy breaks, interesting beats and breakdowns, and a very spacey solo. Containing members of another local band (Per Se), the band cuts right into their second song “Re”, a song with very rocky vocals, technical hard-rock style guitar, an energetic bassist jumping around, and nice sounding harmonies from the keyboardist and singer/ guitarist.

The third song “The Dreamer” was another very classic rock sounding song, with a little bit of prog elements that reminded me of Rush. Hands were clapping, and piano sounds added a jazz feel, the tight timing of the song had the crowd moving heads along and a few jaws were dropping in awe of the technical guitar that was taking place on stage. The last song by them, “Chemicals” was a very ballad-like song, featuring a nice warm and clean tone from the guitarist/ singer. What was interesting about this song was that the vocals were still a bit shouty, but the song was still very calm, building intensity as it the song went on, and got the crowd swaying along.

Stereo is the Answer is a very diverse band that manages to fit elements of jazz, post rock, math rock, classic rock, hard rock into their songs while still having their own style, which is a very thought provoking, technical yet energetic sound. A tight beat and moving bass lines support driving guitars and rocky vocals, complimented by shining piano chords and interesting harmonies. Stereo is the Answer is a band to keep an ear out for in the Hong Kong music scene.
– Sherman Leung


Live review from Underground Jäger Show:

1. Re
2. Waltz
3. Pascal 7
4. The trial
5. Chemicals

同樣是4人樂隊的Stereo is the Answer (SITA),自言是走modern rock風格,與別不同的是常作如星光般點綴的keyboard。SITA以最為人熟悉的《Re:》起首,來自音樂組合per se的男vocal及女和音兼keyboard手聲線非常合拍,。緊接的《Waltz》以複四拍的琴音帶出前奏,把waltz加進pop rock中無疑是個新鮮的嘗試,中段多次波浪起伏的scale,猶如一片來勢洶洶的暗湧,配合間中的跳音及遞進的鼓點,情緒繃緊。《Pascal Seven》把節奏調慢,只略嫌vocal英語發音稍不清晰,影響觀眾投入度。新歌《The Trial》由迷惑過渡至充滿希望的結尾,終曲《Chemicals》以簡潔的guitar chord貫穿全曲,鼓點強烈而深遂,vocal放鬆的腔調比前面的高唱來得動人、樸實。SITA的vocal line充滿高低起伏,vocal雖尚能駕駁難度不少的高音,但因聲線較薄,常被充滿勁度的鼓掩蓋,聽起來較吃力,幸而流水般順暢的keyboard以及跳脫的bass line為歌曲加添不少質感。
– Lily Sung

Stereo is the Answer is a four piece band consisting of guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, with the lead guitarist also acting as the principal vocalist. They are a very tight group. It is obvious from the start that they have put in hours of practice to maintain their crispness and tightness as a group and each member is very talented with their respective instruments.

The set kicked off with "Re". Almost immediately it reminded this reviewer of Muse, the slow, heavy chords, mixed with hard drums and heavy yet melodic bass. The singer sang this well, blending his vocals and going from a low tempo to a high melodic sound with very comfortable backing vocals by the young lady on keyboards. Visually though, only the bassist and the drummer provided any sort of visual entertainment, with the keyboard player standing still (and it would become obvious that this would be her stance for most of the evening) whilst one feels the vocalist was limited in his movement by having to play guitar as well – however, during rare solos, he didn’t really move much either.

A very brief introduction and chat with audience by the front man (so brief I immediately forgot what he said) led, via a melodic keyboard intro, into the second track named "Waltz". Again, this track was very Muse-like though vocally much louder. The main difference between this second track and the opening track was that the keyboard was far more prominent. At times the main vocals felt strained next to the louder sound, in comparison to the opening track. However, overall, it was a very good track.

Immediately the band then entered into their third track of their set, strangely named "Pascal 7", without any sort of interaction with the audience. As with their previous two tracks, again this track was very Muse-like, though a bit more experimental in composition leading this reviewer to think "Muse meets Radiohead-lite". Though musically the sound was very tight, the vocals seemed to be similar in style to Amy Lee of Evanescence. Sadly, for this reviewer, all three opening tracks were very similar in sound and tempo throughout and the set had started to become somewhat tedious and repetitive.

Their fourth song, "The Trial" was introduced as a new song and making its debut performance. It was immediately welcomed during its introduction as a more upbeat and higher tempo song than their previous 3 offerings. However, possibly as it was the first time performing it, the vocals seemed a little off and, indeed, at times the vocalist showed a noticeable discomfort when trying to sing to a higher tempo track in the same style as the previous tracks. Visually, the rest of the group matched the higher tempo with more movement and energy (including the keyboardist who nodded her head more)

For their fifth and final track, "Chemicals", the band returned to their Muse-like pace (though again a very experimental sound at times – in fact, at one moment in the middle, this reviewer was suddenly reminded of Radiohead’s Paranoid Android), After the tempo of the previous track, this song felt very dull – perhaps fitting into the theme of last song/closing time. For most of the night, the audience were kept entranced by them, however, scanning the audience during this last track there was a lot more chattering and people walking about for drinks, cigarettes and the loo.

Overall, Stereo Is The Answer is a very talented band but sadly, compared to the rest of the evening for this reviewer, they were perhaps the dullest offering in terms of tempo and style, though perhaps the best in terms of musical and instrumental talent.
– Joe Simon Jones.


Live review from The Underground x Parsons Music Battle of the Bands FINAL 決賽 2015:

1. re
2. The dreamer
3. pop 7

Stereo is the answer的音樂多變,頭炮re是英倫味十足的另類搖滾作, 之後的<The dreamer>既funky又indie, 甚至有disco音樂的元素。funky和disco節奏來自bass手突出跳動的bassline和鮮明的keyboard節奏。最後的pop 7展現出樂隊主音純熟的假音運用技巧。

– Dicky Kwong

Tricksy alt pop rock
Light and trendy clap along
What is the question?
– Brendan Clift

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