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The High Irons / Press

“ I was a little hesitant when I saw everyone seated on stage at the high-energy venue that was Southpaw. My worries were put to rest by the end of the first chorus. By the end of the set, I was buying a CD and a t-shirt. "This band is from Brooklyn?", asked my brother John, after I recommended that he check out The High Irons on Spotify. "Yeah." Sounding a bit like the twangy version of Dawes or The Replacements, Unusual Opportunities For Young Men does not disappoint. From the pounding 'Lovesick Hearts' to the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sounding 'Please Love Me', we get hear The High Irons at all speeds. Any Brooklynite who has been stuck in Manhattan after 1am can completely relate to 'Stranded On The Subway'. This album has been my #1 recommendation to friends this year and is staple on my iPhone. Solid hooks, catchy lyrics, and an amazingly produced album.”

“It’s a fine, wholesome country rock record. The classic guitar riffs subtly raise their head and run into delicate, crisp sounding solos that hint at a delightful Skynyrd stride. The High Irons romp in melodies and steady rhythms which carve out the traditional country style that is stamped all over this record. Doucet’s deep twanging vocal adds the perfect essence and vibe, although a slight Michael Stipe-ness catches the ear from time to time. The big hitters here are the openers, ‘Lovesick Hearts’ sets off with a Cash-esque pace, a dark tone and a big reverb glow. It’s littered with very cool, short guitar licks and a catchy chorus which gives the hook. Any song that starts with the harmonies of ‘Carolina’ is a winner. Very up beat and again over lapping guitar parts which is the staple diet of this whole record, something The High Irons do so well. ‘Carolina’ is the song to jump in your convertible Cadillac and blaze off down Route 66.”

“ The High Irons are a Brooklyn-based four piece who go all NYC on their brand of Alt Country. The band grabs hold of the songs and rocks, rolls and wrassles the sound with a quick paced shuffle (“Lovesick Hearts”), a side track into a purer country (“Country Hardball”) and stretches out with rock guitar riffs (“The Witness”). The High Irons wear their diversity proudly. The band’s brand of Roots music takes in 70’s country rock with “Please Love Me” and references the first couple of Alt Country footsteps in the 1980’s with the title track. The direction, and the influences, are not as important as the final results. In “Unusual Opportunities for Young Men”, the sights and sounds are The High Irons owned and operated.”

“They sounded like Son Volt on one song, like R.E.M. on the next, and then the Jayhawks, Hank Williams and John Hiatt. They avoided imitation by constructing songs that were smart and gritty, and even a little endearing. When the band's drummer left to chase a woman out West, the group reformed with a new drummer and a new name. Other than that, not much has changed. It's still all about the songs, the guitars, and the heartbreaking twang. In the opener, “Lovesick Hearts,” the guitars chug along on a Johnny Cash boxcar beat while the jangling title cut has an epic Bruce Springsteen sweep. “Country Hardball” and “Carolina,” with their sweet, tight, vocal harmonies and gale-force rhythms, are pure Jayhawks. And the Byrds get a nod with “Please Love Me.” The highlight comes with the driving “Message,” a big, barroom brawler of a song that deserves to be at the top of every radio playlist. Too bad radio's dead.”

“The High Irons often cross the line between straight up country and alternative rock. They have more of the former’s vibe to them though, whereas a band like Old 97s is more R.E.M. than Garth Brooks. The song “Message” also has that Gin Blossoms sound, albeit mixed with what sounds like newer Kings of Leon.There are also strong traces of the Avett Brothers in the singing style, but that’s probably just me talking and not the actual goal of the band, who seem to be roving through as much classic country territory as humanly possible (before updating it and making it their own).The thing that really plops these songs smack dab in a country boy’s broken heart are indeed the vocals ,the twang and the guitar tones throughout the record are pure Nashville, and the band as songwriters is solid throughout. They’re a good band and deserve to be given a listen.”

“The album begins with the western "Lovesick Hearts" that features an intense vocal performance. But the recording really picks up steam with the rockin' "Carolina." This cut could be a hit on Texas country radio with its rollicking melody and memorable lyrics. "Country Hardball" has much of the same charm. "Long For Your Touch" offers elements of British Invasion. However, another potential country chart hit is the Red Dirt-tinged "Message" with its easily hummable melody. The Traveling Wilbury-esque "Stranded On the Subway" is by far the best cut on the album. The track oozes musical authenticity. Radio program directors should take notice of this new Americana gem. The High Irons obviously traded up with its new line-up, because "Unusual Opportunities For Young Men" is a winner. In addition, three songs on the album deserve to bring these Brooklyn boys to Nashville and the country charts.”

“The High Irons present their debut album. These guys can rock solid songs that twist after a spin in your head nesting. Their sound makes me think of the greatest REM, mainly due to the similarity in voice with Michael Stipe. But I hear as good patches Tom Petty, Replacements, Long Ryders or in some songs with beautiful harmonies of the Everly Brothers and The Jayhawks. My favorites are the strong opening trio of "Love Sick Hearts" and "Carolina" that provided the breakthrough some airplay of the group can do. The slow "Country Hardball" is vintage REM and close off the trio. Another favorite is "Please Love Me" by the singing, harmonica playing and the perfect feel Jayhawks a perfect number.A promising group who should have us in the future to deliver strong songs. In any case, this album get some heavy selections in my ipod to come. Truly a merit.”

“*THIS IS TRANSLATED FROM DUTCH* The sound of bands like REM, The Replacements, The Long Riders and The Byrds is very clearly visible on the debut album "Unusual Opportunities For Young Men". Old love rust apparently not, because the rock with screaming guitars make itself felt in the Message, The Witness and Lose My Faith. Rock songs which are perfect for playing an air guitar-driven game. Strikingly beautiful harmonies with a three-part Everly Brothers provide content highlights on the debut of The High Irons. This can be heard in the semi-acoustic songs and Carolina Please Love Me. Songs with strong melodies, tasteful instrumentation and especially the intense vocals of Philip Doucet make music that sticks, regardless of the amount of laps that the album "Unusual Opportunities For Young Men" in the player running.”

“Some rock bands imitate their muses, while others fuse their influences to create their own sound. Then others seem to sprout out of the earth. That is Katy Mae in a nutshell. You May Already Be a Winner is a wide-ranging, synthesis of sounds that is not pure rock, pop, or alt-country. And while the band hails from upstate New York, this is not a 'cowpunk' band. From the bluesy opening number "Two Dollars Late" to the hard-charging closer "Let Me Bring You Down" the album is a mixture of Southern rock and early alternative, garnished with a dash of punk. There are notes of Lynard Skynard, and even the Gin Blossoms. But none of it seems derivative or even descended from any of these artists in any major way. The best description of it would be if Steve Earle and Doug Hopkins were thrown in a blender and mixed with essences of Joe Strummer.”

John Winn - Racket Magazine

“(As Katy Mae)… Hailing from that y'allternative hotbed known as Brooklyn, Katy Mae has a leg up on most of its peers thanks to the pure, unfettered authenticity that bleeds through the pores of its material. Katy Mae's obviously soaked in its collective influences; one detects elements of 70s Southern rock, 80s power pop (esp. the Replacements) and of course post-Uncle Tupelo '90s alt-country. But don't think the group can be pinned down too easily…. the songs ring true and aim straight for the heart. That they make all the cute young ladies' asses wanna shake in the process is simply icing on the cake.”

FRED MILLS - BLURT

“ A stopgap meant to tide fans over while the band put the finishing touches on the follow up to their 2007 debut, Katy Mae's new E.P. finds the Brooklyn outfit sounding stronger than ever. Armed with the punch and twang of Uncle Tupelo and the post-punk howl of The Replacements, You May Already Be a Winner is made up of five scruffy blasts of American rock and roll. "Two Dollars Late" glows with cowpunk glory; "Falls Down" and "Dust Of Friends" bring to mind the power and crunch of Crazy Horse and the title track is a dense and wildly appealing rocker. Singer Phil Doucet is in full command here, his Westerbergian delivery as ragged and appealing as ever. With a full-length on the horizon it's safe to say there's no sophomore slump in sight. ”

“(As Katy Mae)....The latest five-track excursion from NYC’s Katy Mae showcases a beefier output than past releases thanks to the group adding a second guitar, a move that furthers this unit’s reputation of taking its rock ‘n roll seriously. Strengthened by their ability to draw from their vast influences ranging from anthemic heartland rock (”Falls Down”) and upbeat college rock (”Let Me Bring You Down”) to alt-country twang with Smithereens-like wallop (”You May Already Be a Winner”), Katy Mae blends classic rock aura with chunks of modern rock muscle to create stirring tunes with sweeping dynamics (”Dust of My Friends”), reminiscent of a powerful mix of Pearl Jam and The Who. Multi-faceted and always ready to rock, Katy Mae’s balancing act is worthy of repeated spins for anyone that can appreciate genuine rock ‘n roll that knows its roots.”

Mike SOS - Gears of Rock