The updated press page is here
ALTERNATIVE PRESS, December 2001: Review of The Wonderful World of Chemistry: "9 (out of 10)... This 6-song EP bodes well for overlord." Review by Todd Hutlock. Read here.
CMJ NEW MUSIC MONTHLY, September 2001: Review of The Wonderful World of Chemistry: "happy, peppy and burstin' with love". Um...
Article by Stephanie Valera. Read here.
MAGNET MAGAZINE, July/August 2001:
"The Wonderful World of Chemistry EP (Storm Tower) not
only has the most accurate titular self-description
since Stereolab's Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, its
six songs spark the kind of tingly chemical reactions
in the listener's brain normally reserved for head-ons
with obscure Beach Boys and Kinks bootlegs, Joe Meek
wall-of-sound productions and the stray Elephant
6-collective neo-psychedelic jam session." Article by Fred Mills. Read here.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY (3/8/00):"That's My Jam:
Longsleeves All Summer Long, Storm Tower Records.
If there were a show on the WB that speculated
what Joy Division would be like as well-to-do, cynical,
funny and sweet American teenagers–and why isn’t
there, I ask you?–overlord would have those roles cold.
Having gone through a record five drummers in
one year–and still playing shows to 40 people (if they’re
lucky)–overlord have nevertheless issued a coup de grace,
a testament to the downtroddenness of the human spirit.
"Longsleeves" pogos along in the manner of
the best early Factory singles or first Cure
album. "Well, it’s a funny world we live in/
And by ‘funny,’ I mean not funny at all"
taunts the opening line of this teenage call to arms,
a sort of "Bela Legosi’s Dead" for all the kids
who thought that song was a little too scary for
its own good. Instead, "Longsleeves" carries
on with the tempo of "Turning Japanese" and
the fervent commentary of the Smiths’ "Panic."
It takes guts to make music like this, and even
more to live the tunes in the way that overlord
does. I mean, how many times can you be
asked, "Aren't you hot in that?" anyway?". Article by Joey Sweeney.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY (11/10/99):
"...those willfully obscure West Philly early
80's revisionists...overlord is all darkness and death...
dank, reverby and perfectly 1983... [like]
Bauhaus and the Smiths." Note: The word 'overlord'
appears four times in a single paragraph, one that's not even
about us, which is just a little weird. Article by Joey Sweeney.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY (12/9/98):
"Editor's Picks: overlord. This
West Philly quartet's latest album, A Finishing Picture , plays fast and
loose with its influences: early New Order, early Cure, early Smiths...
overlord picks among these flowers well, and we'd like to take this time
to mention that this is the most audaciously, sublimely unfashionable
release we've heard this year. We applaud their courage, wit and
determination. overlord celebrates the release of this petite
gem tonight. Go. Wed., Dec. 9, 10 p.m. The Khyber, 56 S.
Second St. 215.238.5888. Article by Joey Sweeney."
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY (4/8/98): PHILLY MUSIC A TO Z:
...the band's first record...
is a well-conceived, well executed and well-produced
little gem that's not nearly as fatalistic as Pasles would
have you believe. Whether it's the peppy Devo-esque paean to
athiesm ("Am I Wrong?") to the Cure-ish bombast of "Esspy" to
the Flock of Seagulls dreaminess of "Filler" to the
Smiths jangle of "Why Can't I," it's still a pretty upbeat record." Full text
here. Article by Jill MacDowell.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY (2/11/98):
"Editor's Picks: A trio of young'uns out in West
Philly... decided to scrap their homework in favor of a dark passion called rock music.
They slapped a metal moniker on themselves and started producing
some of the most infectious synth-goth-psych-pop we've heard
in Philly in a while...Upstairs at Nicks." Article by Jill MacDowell.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY (12/10/97):
"DISC LIST: THIS WEEK's RECORDS...**** (four stars of four)
...proud to say this awesome record comes straight
outta West Philly... It's heavy, heavily infectious
new wave that plays like the soundtrack to an action and fang packed
episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; recommended if you like My Dad
Is Dead or Ultra Vivid Scene...Exceptional." Article by Jill MacDowell.
PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER
PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER
The Wonderful World of Chemistry (Storm Tower Records)
It takes balls to write a track and
name it "The 70th Love Song," an
obvious nod to Stephin Merritt’s 1999
Magnetic Fields three-disc holy grail
69 Love Songs. Yet there it is, the
final track on this six-song EP from
Overlord (who can be reached at
oddly named band (they’re really not
a metal band, a point they hammer
home repeatedly) pulls off the trick,
however, with an appropriately sappy
pop homage and nifty lyrics about
boys, love and science ("Some boys’ lips
are made for smiles/ Some boys’ lips are
made for sutures"). Not only is it an
impressive feat of songwriting mimicry, but
a bit of a clue to what makes George Pasles’
band tick. Prior releases like 1998’s A
Finishing Picture and ’99’s two-song Transparent
Tunes could be classified as uneven: full of thoughtful stylistic influences from late ’80s/
early ’90s British mope-pop but without a
unifying aesthetic. While The Wonderful
World of Chemistry is a bit here-and-there, too, Pasles’ musical vision is becoming sharper. The Craig Wedren-esque falsetto of
album opener "Atonal" makes for an interesting leap to the AM radio jangle of "Populist Anthem" which in
turn leads to the Bats-influenced lo-fi indie pop of "Meet the Situation Artist." A scientific theme saturates the proceedings. It’s plenty to convince you that there’s a cold, crooked smile on the faces of these dour poppers as they toil away in their lab." Article by Brian Howard.
PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER (5/13/99)
Show preview/interview. Full text here.
Article by Neil Gladstone.
PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER: (4/15/99)"WEB OF SOUND:
The same thinking that inspired this mopey '80s-style band to brand
themselves with a hair metal name must also be responsible for their strange
Web page. The design has a refreshing schizophrenic nature. The main page
is adorned with odd black-and-white photos of men with doll's heads,
couples in gas masks and people holding giant pants. The lettering blinks
and/or scrolls across the screen. The effect is disorienting, but mild in
comparison to the inane madness that lies below the surface. With a click of
the mouse one is thrust into seemingly irrelevant storehouses of data such as
an extensive list of Batman paraphernalia, the semi-fictional Web site of the
bizarre small Pennsylvania town Chapelsnap and a memorial to the
video-game inspired cartoon "Pole Position" (complete with character
filmography and sound clips). And these are just a few of the brilliantly
demented treasure-troves to be explored."
Article by Brett Burton.
PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER (4/8/99):
"HearHere: A Finishing Picture's mix of minor-melodic vocals, driving guitar riffs and tom-tom heavy drum licks
recalls what was great about early '80s mope rock. Remember when music
could be peppy, pensive and mournful at the same time? The brooding, synthesizer-driven ballads display an affection for the Magnetic Fields. Ah, if
only John Hughes were making teen angst flicks
these days…"Article by Neil Gladstone.
Video Clips "Delayed Past Thinking" (4/8/98):
"If you can imagine the sound of a hundred forks falling down a hill, and then go further and
envision the jangle to not only be pleasant, but to be catchy, then you've successfully built
Underlord in your head. Throw in a little Nosferatu and some candle wax, and you'll find
"Delayed Past Thinking" to be a pleasant and original dream."
"This overlord is a lone man (plus his drummer) with a gift for creating dreamy, lovely pop that runneth over with love for the Beatles, Robert Pollard and early R.E.M. Sure, sometimes the sound quality is piss-poor, but these are joyous, intelligent, stick-to-your-fingers melodies and progressions, and a few dodgy recordings don't diminish that fact. And it's Lo-Fi in that brilliant Alien Lanes way, so who can really complain? This artist has an active mind and a restless creative spirit, exemplified by the diverse nature of his songs and the different moods he explores. Sometimes jangly rhythm guitars lead the fray, accented by cool synth chords and minimal drumming. In other songs, wonderfully dirty bass takes over, and pretty pop is replaced with a manic, propulsive energy that's almost Crazy Rhythms-esque. Vocals are universally lovely and the lyrics consistently adroit. Not bad for a kid with a four-track." Article by Will Lerner
Snapshot circa 1999 by philly2nite.