On August 12th, the lads of Stylofone take to the Mercury Lounge stage opening for Lions & Tigers and maje-label dance popsters du jour, Young Love. Get there early for the 'Fone, we dug their riffery enough to put the band in our Summer Music Smashtacular and want you to get down too! Check the Gen F on Stylofone from F39 after the jump, and listen to their track "Part III: The Hotstepper" on our Summer Music podcast.
The Boys Of Summer
Stylofone and the craft of jam
By Alex Wagner
Mellencamp and his chilidogs always play first fiddle in the bikini-top-and-tight-jeans version of a wild, unfettered American summer, so it’s rare to find the track that immediately struts in with such salacious verve that you might just take it to the beach instead. "Hotstepper" is the summer anthem for too many beers and hot weather sweats: a wailing, harmonizing guitar swings with drums in stadium stomp, snarling lyrics begin Last chance for second chances/ I’ll take the consequences/ I’ll take ’em all/ Two cents for innocence/ I’ll sell some common sense/ I’ve got enough. The song is one of a very precious four on a self-titled EP being heard on Myspace pages and sold at shows by a Brooklyn foursome called Stylofone.
"On 'Hotstepper,' the engineer told us it was the highest number of audio tracks he had ever recorded on any song—a total of 75 audio tracks," says guitarist Simon O’Connor. "It took 96 hours to record four songs." Lead singer Jason Klauber interrupts, "It was actually 89 hours and we [got rid of] one song—so for what’s actually on the record, about 76 hours." Along with Klauber and O’Connor, Stylofone is made up of drummer William Stone and bassist Skip Levin, all fresh off the New England college chopping block with little experience of the hard luck that is prerequisite to such distinctly hard living songs of summer, but they’ve got the precision to pull it off. "The song began as kind of a big fat guy on a bench asleep," says Klauber. "Will swung it and that’s when it really began to take off. I had wanted to do a song that had those very glittery rock & roll parts and this was a perfect opportunity." Other tracks on the EP have similar ass-rocking intent: carefully constructed drum rolls, thrumming bass lines and early metal guitar, Klauber’s voice passionately promising his girl We’re gonna live like kings and queens!
Stylofone themselves are inclined towards whitewashed denim, long hair and the beginning stages of handlebar moustaches, likely following through on their resolution to make it as real they can—though in person, their calculated effort is far more apparent than over the speakers. And even though statements like Klauber’s, "We wanted the songs to have a—I hate the word vibe, but we just wanted to make sure we got it on tape the right way. And we went about it very methodically," can take all of the air out of the room pretty quickly, as long as you’re listening to the album outside, there’s plenty more where that came from.