photos by matt carr

Address press inquiries to
debate [at] overlordusa [dot] com

press for I Don't Want to Sing This Song Again

Poprock Record: "Overlord is back with a song as good as any of their past curio poprock classics. I mean, who opens with fabulous accordion? Ok, They Might Be Giants. But who else? Overlord gateway-drug your way into “I Don’t Want to Sing This Song Again” with some alluring accordion work before breaking out a masterful melodic performance, perhaps vibing a bit of Teenage Fanclub but mostly just giving us that good old hooky, verbally-clever stuff we love them for. "

BrooklynVegan: "NYC indie rock vets Overlord look at the repetition of history and bad decisions through the lens of music. The video does so to via "the first thousand years" of Overlord's history."

press for The Well-Tempered Overlord

The Big Takeover: "Overlord's latest album crackles with a smart power pop intensity that brings to mind the music of AC Newman and the New Pornographers. Singer/guitarist George Pasles drives the band, buoyed by Sarah Brockett's athletic bass work, which shines through on such up-tempo tracks as "Mission to Mars" and "Posthumous Honors." Dig deeper, however, and the lyrics reveal a pensive, downcast miserablist streak worthy of Morrissey's better moments (a few choice quotes: "My whole life was a bad idea"; "If I can't get love, I'll take pity"; "Give up your dreams, before they give up on you"). And if those are too subtle, the closing track, "My Absence will Go Unnoticed," makes the point more bluntly. Cheer up guys, it's not that bad!"

Poprock Record: "All this leads us to 2016's The Well Tempered Overlord, the band's undeniable masterpiece. The wit is cutting, the umbrage exquisite. This is deeply intelligent and catchy music, intellectually riffing on indie culture and beyond. Think of all those smart and clever bands - The Smiths, Magnetic Fields, They Might Be Giants, XTC - and this record adds a new member to the club. There really isn't a weak cut on the album but I'm specifically loving the hooks on "You're Gonna Love This One" or the great lead guitar and vocals on "It's a Travesty," the alternating tempo of "Incredibly Human" and the rollicking rush of "Posthumous Honors," with its great line about 'my whole life was a bad idea.' And for those who came only for the sardonic wit you've still got "Give Up Your Dreams" and "My Absence Will Go Unnoticed.""

Jersey Beat: "Most of his contemporaries struggle to throw together the occasional reunion gig, but Overlord's George Pasles reliably manages to pop out a quality album a year, and "pop" is indeed the operative term. It's not "pop" as in popular, sadly, but "pop" as in music that consistently seems both familiar and fresh, filled with well-worn tropes but always finding a few new wrinkles in the indie-rock canon. Few musicians use the studio as effectively as Pasles, with vocal harmonies becoming another instrument to add to his already potent arsenal: Sarah Brockett on bass, Matt Houser on drums, and Tris McCall on synths ably accompany Pasles' nimble guitar and sweet-throated vocals on songs that consistently impress as intelligent, thoughtful, catchy, and often quite humorous. (Seriously, there are keyboard riffs on "Posthumous Honors" as funny as pratfalls. And then there's the high school glee club harmony chorus singing "my whole life was a bad idea..." Hilarious.) Yes, the lyrics, if you strain to hear them in the mix, are wonderful, but the sounds and tempos on this record - happy, skittish, cheeky, light-hearted, optimistic, bounding- will leave you smiling even if you don't bother to suss out a word."

Blurt Online: "Every few years this excellent NYC chamber pop band releases a record and every review I say the same thing. Basically about how criminally overlooked the band is and how they really deserve more fans. Well, I won't repeat myself again especially since you get the gist of it after that last sentence, but basically, leader George Pasles and his well-kept (and well-tempered) crew (Sarah Brockett on bass, Matt Houser on drums and Tris McCall on synth...Pasles sings and plays guitar) had whipped another lovely batch of 10 sumptuous pop songs. This stuff isn't pretentious and stuffy though it easily could be were it not for the fact that Pasles lets it all out while the band follow his every move (Pasles also had a wicked wit). Opening cut "You're Gonna Love This One" has a title that's total truth in advertising as it explodes out of the gate while "Mission to Mars" is a single (check out the video for it) and just a good. Elsewhere "It's a Travesty" could've been an early Chills cut while the near-the-end, "Give Up Your Dreams" swings n' sways and is one of the best pop songs you'll hear all year (despite its title...though it doesn't say give up ON your dreams, does it?). The only song that I really didn't like on here is the almost-metal "Strange Fiction" (which is a song that you think a band named Overlord would sound like), otherwise, I'm all ears. Another gem here, just buy everything that they release. New Pornographers and Zumpano fans will definitely want to lend an ear (or should)."

Indie Way You Like It: "Overlord is a Brooklyn-based, four-piece band that delivers highly satisfying indie pop-rock with a vintage flavor. The band's latest album, The Well-Tempered Overlord, is brimming with high-energy, catchy power pop-rock in the style of songs that were cranked out by the songwriting factories of the 1960s and 1970s. And that's not a bad thing! Places such as NYC's Brill Building (recently popularized in an album title by the New Pornographers) and Don Kirshner's Aldon Music (the subject of the Carole King musical, Beautiful) knew how to craft great songs. And Overlord certainly does in this, its sixth full-length album.

Arrangements in The Well-Tempered Overlord are fresh - never formulaic - with compelling lyrics, strong lead vocals, and rich harmonies reminiscent of 60s acts such as the Beach Boys or Monkees. The songs make good use of both guitars and synths, with solid rhythm tracks that drive the tunes forward.

Track highlights: The band starts off by immodestly suggesting "You're Gonna Love This One." Jangly guitars, skittering synths and a relentless beat pump this into a true pop-rock anthem. "Mission to Mars" comes next, featuring straight-ahead pop-rock with a dynamic bass line and a harmonized chorus that definitely reminds me of the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday" - written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Incidentally, you should check out the accompanying music video, featuring a little boy who grows up to live out his dream (with an unexpected ending).

Track 4 of the ten-song set, "Interior World," demonstrates Overlord's expertise with well-mannered (well-tempered?), yet dramatic, chamber pop - complete with chime-y guitar and dazzling synth orchestration. "Incredibly Human" is up-tempo rock with a march-like rhythm and stingers at the end of each verse. And Track 9, "Give Up your Dreams," has guitar work similar to The Hollies or any of a number of bands from the 1960s. The songs don't sound old - they're definitely a part of the 21st century; they simply pay homage to an earlier era responsible for such great music.

This album is absolutely worth your time - check it out!"

QRO Magazine: "Capping off a night of unofficial shows at Cake Shop was Overlord. Celebrating their album release "The Well-Tempered Overlord" the band playfully gave away items in between songs (including a glowing light-up trinket for the person who travelled furthest to get to the show)." IMAGE GALLERY

glamglare: "The stage, however, belonged to Brooklyn band Overlord, who shares their name with 12 other bands around the world, mostly of various heavy metal genres. In contrast, the Brooklyn version does catchy indie pop and is super entertaining live." IMAGE GALLERY

NeuFutur Magazine: "overlord create a form of alternative rock that builds off of the foundations laid by early Flaming Lips, Tal Bachman and Jellyfish. Mission to Mars's magnificent sound shifts to a more resounding and authoritative sounds, where bits of Rush and The Who can be discerned."

WLUR Radio: "Opening with "You're Gonna Love This One" and closing with a tune called "My Absence Will Go Unnoticed", Overlord churns through just over half an hour of fine, pseudo-vintage indie pop that mixes a bit of Elephant 6-style psychedelia in with their aforementioned Smiths-channeling sad-sack lyricism. If Morrissey knew how to have a good time, his music might sound like what you'll hear on The Well-Tempered Overlord. "

KAMP Radio: "Pump Up, Progressive, Indie Pop jams flow out of this album. Overlord is an indie-pop, dreamy indie band from Brooklyn New York. This is their second[sic] album and it seems to be a clear ripening and honing of their sound. Which is upbeat, fast paced, satirical new modern indie twists on old psychedelic rock, indie dream pop, boy band. With almost Beatles-inspired lyrics and melodies this album is quite delightful to the ear palette. The whole album generally has a similar sound although tracks 5 and 6 have a particularly lovely uprising guitar riffs and build of momentum and sound. All songs are pretty catchy, even the more satirical lyrics being sung in a blissful manner. If you can picture a group of newly college students all cramming into a van to go to the mountains for a hike, most suitably in the 60's or 70's, this is what is playing in the car on the drive up. They have a sound very similar to the psychedelic rock of Strawberry Alarm Clock's album "Incense and Peppermint" and I hope if you don't check that album out that the title provides enough info as to the sound they would create. Highly recommend track 2, "Lost on a Mission to Mars" the whole song has rolling riffs of drums over ascending notes and vocals, ending in a crash slam of drum glory, as well as carrying this vintage sci-fi vibe, like the song that should be playing in the high school dances of "Back to The Future". Definitely a band to look for future music from, or one could say up and coming, although their sound could get lost in a crowd, I'd hope to see some more distinguishing elements from them in the future. However, speaking of unique and memorable, the overlords certainly nailed both in their choice of album art for "The Well-Tempered Overlord"."

KZSU Stanford: " Overlord's latest album is brimming with high-energy, catchy power pop-rock in the style of songs that were cranked out by the songwriting factories of the 1960s and 1970s. That's not a bad thing! Places such as NYC's Brill Building and Don Kirshner's Dimension Records relied on future superstars such as Carole King to craft hit songs. Overlord's arrangements are fresh - never formulaic - with compelling lyrics, strong lead vocals, and rich harmonies. RIYL: New Pornographers, Destroyer, and chart-topping bands of the 60s and 70s."

Essentially Pop: "'Mission To Mars' takes an ill-fated trip to Mars and turns it into a metaphor romantic alienation, and the limits and dangers of human ambition. Clever lyrics perfectly convey the helplessness one can sometimes feel when in a relationship. The song is eminently re-playable, with a great 60s psych pop vibe, and it's been accompanied by a video made by the band on a shoestring budget."

Magnet Magazine: "Brooklyn's Overlord will release The Well-Tempered Overlord on September 9, and its video for "Mission To Mars" sets the scene perfectly. A low-budget space movie plays behind this blast of a track, one that'll have you singing "I was lost on a mission to mars" all day long."

We All Want Someone to Shout For: "Their sound was one that was easy on the ears. Full of lush, feel good melodies that would have fit right in during the 60s. A delightful set of nice harmonies that weren't lost on me." Photos by Will Oliver


All Music Guide: "The gloriously singable lament that launches this break-up album is the first hint (well, second, if you count the album title) that, for the next half-hour, listeners will witness a wrestling match between keening pathos and self-deprecating wit. Spoiler: wit wins. But clever, sad lyrics on the order of Magnetic Fields are just a part of what makes this Brooklyn band's fifth full-length release stand out from the pack of concurrent indie pop releases. Songwriter George Pasles knows his way around a pop song, having seemingly studied at the feet of Wilson and Spector, and this record demonstrates a mastery of harmony-laden idylls with clamorous Pet Sounds arrangements, and lively new wave word-fests that make judicious use of synthesizers and jangly guitars. Although there's no filler here, some tracks leap out: "Nothing Is Wrong," with its charming hook and gorgeous, layered vocals, is an instant earworm. "Keep It from the Baby" opens with a 50-second spy-vs.-spy instrumental passage that gives each member of the band a chance to display his or her supple musical skills, and a brief but chilling a cappella section confers the line "If I can't save you, no one can save you" with an air of prophesy. "The Daily Oblivion" contains both the funniest lyric and the kernel of the album's theme: "Above the fold/beneath contempt…City to Boy: Drop Dead." Rest assured that the boy in question is still standing by album's end, and that we're laughing with him. (Four stars)"

Dagger Zine: "This Brooklyn, NY via Philly combo has languished in obscurity long enough. It is up to me, the DAGGER emperor, to end this band’s fan drought and demand that each and every one of you purchase not one but two copies of this record. Why you ask? Because invariably, one will wear out, that much I can promise. Their previous record, 2006’s TICKER SYMBOLS, flew way under the radar as well but once I heard it I’d realized that it’s nearly criminal that this band is so unknown. Guitarist/vocalist/main songwriter Pasles is obviously a big fan of the Beach Boys (maybe the New Pornographers ,too..check out “Battle Hymn of the Romantic”) as tunes like “What Do You Want me For” and “Oh, My Mechanical Heart!” both attest to some serious Wilsonian love though “I Don’t Either” sounds a bit like early Magnetic Fields. The 2nd half of the record is a bit less chirpy and a bit more dramatic but no less effective (check out the terrific “Keep It From the Baby”). Maybe it will take the rest of the world a few years to catch up, but hopefully no more than that."

Kata Rokkar: "You’re going to need to make more room on your blooming indie-pop playlist for these guys. Sometimes a buzz band earns its keep. Such is the case with overlord’s (no, not a stoner metal band) full-length CD, In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You, which refines and expands upon the cheerily-depressed power-pop of George Pasles’ excited creativity. The group’s defining sounds remain in George Pasles’ vocals (melodic and layered) and hook-filled melodies, as well as their DIY self production leans to a narrow, nearly monophonic soundstage that provides the punch of great AM pop. Pasles’ songs of broken hearts, retribution-laced screeds, and the occasional grasp of self-awareness are just the sort of ’skip even though you’re sad’ songs that power pop legends are made of."

Sugar Sours: "Remember when Twin Cinema come out? That album fucking rocked. Ever wonder what it would sound like if it popped? No? Well, Brooklyn's Overlord have already come up with an answer, so don't worry your pretty little head. In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You is due out April 1st on Storm Tower Records, and as I alluded, there's a bit of a New Pornographers thing going. That, and the Smiths, but they're not complaining about the comparison, so neither will I. I will give them a little more credit though: by mixing influences from the bast 50 years Overlord have developed a sound more complex than just a "poppy New Pornographers." Wow, that was almost silly-professional-reviewer sounding, but basically it's the first album of the year that's "Summer Jam" worthy. In the meantime, need something to throw on your "Springtime Drive Mix?""

The Big Takeover: "Overlord's latest retains much of the '60s psych and power pop sounds that made 2006's Ticker Symbols such a delight, but this time around the playing is more assured and the production is more fully realized. Singer/ guitarist/ songwriter George Pasles finally has a full-time band at his disposal, and it shows. Russia sounds less like a solo project and closer in spirit to the New Pornographers' powerful polyglot indie rock. Pasles displays a more emotional and confident vocal delivery on the aching '50s doo wop lament of "You Loved Me" and the Beatles-esque "Back to the Big Lie" that suits his new band's strengths. Now that Overlord is a fully functioning ensemble, hopefully we won't have to wait another five years to hear from the talented Mr. Pasles again."

The Burning Ear: "Spring is bubbling just around the corner and this kind of hyper indie-pop is just the thing to get me pumped for warm summer evenings of music and mirth. I can imagine all kinds of caught-on-camera summer hi-jinks being edited at double speed to this guitar and drums cruiser. Brooklyn’s Overlord just released their fourth album In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You, their first with a steady band to take on frontman George Pasles’ songwriting/crafting."

The 405: "As they are keen to point out, the name Overlord does sound deceptively like a metal band, luckily they're not. Instead, the Brooklyn four piece produce fantastically catchy indie pop music."

Hits In the Car: "Today I'll listen to the In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You album by Brooklyn indie-pop act Overlord at least twice. The two songs included in the “mixtapes” this past weekend are simply brilliant and of course I cross fingers hoping that the rest of the album is just as good."

The Dadada: "overlord is a mis-named indie-rock band from Brooklyn via Philly; no they are not the next “big thing” in goregrind (as if), but you’ll probably be willing to forgive them their choice of moniker. Their style runs the length of modern popular rock ‘n’ roll music of the previous century, from ’60s garage rock to ’90s alternative, with heavy dose of ’80s English twee pop. Their new album IN SOVIET RUSSIA, MY HEART BREAKS YOU (out April 1) offers up-tempo & lo-fi tunes that celebrate this wide range of styles, sounding somewhat like the New Pornographers (with the same cheeky approach to melody and harmonies, but lacking the depth and variety of the New Ps). Two tracks bear uncanny resemblance to ‘90s Athens indie-rock – ‘Battle Hymn of the Romantic’ (which sounds like Elf Power) and ‘Keep if from the Baby’ (which sounds like Empire State). If you are yearning for catchy, playful, melodic nostalgia (without having to drag out your old records), give this album a try."

What's the Ruckus?: ""Keep It From The Baby" is a fantastic tune - full of gorgeous harmonies and stellar instrumentation. We think this band is one to watch, and you know we're never wrong"

WLUR: "You'd be forgiven if you flipped over In Soviet Russia My Heart Breaks You to look for the Slumberland Records logo. (It's not there--the Brooklyn-based indie poppers are on Philly's Storm Tower Records imprint.) While Overlord isn't labelmates with the likes of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Crystal Stilts, Girls Names, et al, there's a lot of musical kinship. RIYL: The Magnetic Fields, The Smiths and Guided By Voices."

The New Lo-Fi: "If you haven’t heard of Brooklyn indie-pop band Overlord, one thing to note is: They Are NOT A Metal band. That said, they are f’n awesome and you’ll definitely hear more about them soon. They’re steadily climbing the CMJ TOP 200 and preparing to take over both, planet earth and the underworld. "

Bloodbuzzed: "Overlord. More Brooklynites and stunning indiepop you shouldn't miss. This is the project of George Pasles, who recorded the first Overlord albums on his own, with the help from members of A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Longwave, and Ui for live shows. But with "In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You" (released on April), Overlord has become a real (and impressive) band, with Sarah Brockett (from the great Palomar), Tris McCall (My Teenage Stride), and Matt Houser (The Human Hearts), they have created a masterful album, where The Beatles meet The New Pornographers and 80s new wave meet The Byrds."

Popmatters: "Yes, I can admit that the reason I wanted to hear this album was its title. It’s probably the same reason you’re reading this. As much as that title initially seems like a ploy to get people to look at overlord’s new album, however, it actually works as an encapsulation of the contents within. The album doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there’s an undercurrent of melancholy that’s unmistakable if you listen long enough. It’s a short album, its 10 tracks coming in at under a half hour. Its first half is smart and chippy and just a little silly, while the second half settles into slightly more contemplative territory without ever coming off as mopey. Quick tempos and harmonies that evoke the Monkees more than the Beatles or the Beach Boys go surprisingly well with melancholy (if clever) lyrics like “Just as Lazarus died a second time, well, I am back to the big lie”. The band makes it impossible to take sentiments like “Nobody loves me / And if they did / They’d be making a terrible error” too seriously when they couch it in ‘60s doo-wop stylings. The juxtaposition of sunny pop with largely downcast lyrics makes it difficult to get much of a bead on overlord based on In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You, but at the very least, they’ve created an interesting album that works awfully well as good-mood background music—at least, it does if you’re not listening too close."

Fayetteville Flyer: "Ever heard a band so pleasant, so charming, and so inoffensive that you loathed it? The inappropriately-named overlord is the epitome of this fiendish subgenre. The vocalist sounds like he volunteers at an animal shelter to raise money for orphaned altar boys. The clean electric guitars chime along effortlessly. Everything, right down to the cutesy title, is tailor-made to be clean fun. But what’s worse is that the hooks actually quite good. After trying to dismiss overlord as nothing more than another cutesy alt/indie outfit, I kept finding myself drawn back for more. This is rock music your great-aunt would enjoy. This is rock music I hate myself for liking."

We All Want Someone To Shout For: "It’s as feel good and delightful as warm indie rock should be. It’s truly a shame I’m only discovering them now."

Those Who Dig: "The band overlord is about to release a new single called "What Do You Want Me For?"... It's a tight, catchy song, all forward energy and big choruses. Drums, guitars, piano, and is that a slide whistle I hear?! Check it out."

plus que toi et moi: "Un bon album (In Soviet Russia My Heart Breaks You) indie pop qui vous fera bouger pour écouter mieux, de plus près."

Ziknation: "Overlord fait partie de ces groupes New-Yorkais qui devraient faire parler d’eux. Ils ont assuré la première partie de The Dodos, Frightened Rabbit, ou encore du fils de Robert Plant. Depuis Overlord a sorti le 1er avril dernier (ce n’est pas une blague!) leur premier album, In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You."

Lito Music: "La que hoy comparto con vosotros no puede ser más atractiva, se trata de la banda de Brooklyn Overlord, liderada por el vocalista y guitarrista George Pasles, al que acompañan la bajista Sarah Brockett (de los maravillosos Palomar), Tris McCall (My Teenage Stride) con los sintetizadores, y Matt Houser a la batería. Entre sus influencias confluyen los sonidos británicos de los 60 con el Bubblegum de los 70 y el New Wave de los 80, siendo el resultado realmente delicioso, canciones redondas, de brillantes melodías y preciosas armonías vocales. Su nuevo trabajo, publicado el 1 de abril en el sello Storm Tower Records, lleva por nombre "In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You", y "What Do You Want Me For" es una de sus canciones, que la disfrutéis."

Ratatata Session: "Y por último os dejamos con una de las sorpresas más agradables, el último trabajo de Overlord y su canción "Keep It From the Baby", canción del verano, sin duda, de su último álbum "In Soviet Russia My Heart Breaks You", gran título y gran disco. Que disfrutéis del baño y cuidado con las olas."

Dagger Zine    Breakthru Radio
Kata Rokkar   Cowbell Magazine

other reviews/podcast/blog appearances:
Gimmie Tinnitus    Music Under Fire    The Dadada
30 Milkshakes    Rock and Roll Gas Station   Stop Ok Go
The Wheel's Still In Spin   Insomnia Radio   Storychord
All Over    Did You Hear the New?    Owl and Bear
Stars Are Shining Bright    Best New Tracks
Indie Shuffle    Flypage    Cultsore    Alta Fidelidad
The Mad Mackerel    write.click.cook.listen    Faronheit
Caffeine And Science    Yo-Yo Duck   Museum at Pergatory
Rykjvk    Popfiction    Music That Isn't Bad    Silence & Syntax
Brooklyn Based    Consequence of Sound    Raving Insomniac
The Weekender    Music DNA    The Cover Lovers
Indie Your Face!    It's So Easy to Sing    Coverville
Cover Freak   Cover Me   Brooklyn Vegan   If It Be Your Will
Burning World    Snob's Music    So the Wind
Indiependent Music

Asylum Magazine: "In these days of major bands like Radiohead releasing entire albums for free, what's an indie band to do to get any attention? Take a lesson from New York's Overlord and release every track as a single before collecting them all on an album. Jay Reatard and Ryan Adams are just a couple of other artists who have also pre-released entire albums as singles or EPs. Starving indie rockers take a memo: Gussy up those singles in stylish packages, give them away at your shows and folks will pay attention. (Sure, it's a loss leader, but you aren't in a band to make money, right?) George Pasles, Overlord's front man, packaged "Oh My Mechanical Heart" in a miniature Soviet Passport to connect it with the theme of his upcoming album "In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You." "It's a break-up album. Actually, a post-break-up album. I've had to make unpersons in my memories, just as Stalin 'removed' people from the official history," he explains. Hyper-intellectual pop tunes swaddled in precious packaging: Isn't that what classic indie rock is all about? If you want to listen to Overlord's spry yet maudlin New Wave-influenced track, you can download it from the band's Web site or, if you're in New York, you can go to their show at Galapagos on Saturday, Sept. 13th. (They'll appear as a part of Nerd Nite.)" Preview by Neil Gladstone.

San Diego City Beat (tour preview): "PLAN A: Overlord @ The Casbah. Overlord is not some scary Norwegian metal band. In fact, they’re playing Nerd Nite at The Casbah. Perfect, considering that their They Might Be Giants- and Decemberists-influenced sound seems well suited to follow-up lectures on bird mating and zombies."


The Big Takeover: "overlord - Ticker Symbols (Storm Tower) I'll cut to the chase: this is one of my favorite records of the year. Filled with gorgeous guitar-based power-pop, this is the album that I've been waiting for Outrageous Cherry to make ever since their 1999 masterstroke Out There in the Dark. Who knew that it would take a one man band with a misleading heavy metal moniker (shouldn't he be writing about minotaurs and motorcycles?) to pull it off instead. Whether it's beautiful pastoral psychedelia ("Boy Shiva"), Shins-like crooning ("The Walking Microphone"), or jaunty indie pop ("Should've Done Drugs"), there's an effortless melodic grace to everything Pasles touches. And while the production is a bit muffled, it doesn't detract from the sheer genius of these songs. I can't recommend it hightly enough." Review by Theo Cateforis.

Indiepages: "Overlord - "Ticker Symbols" cd (Storm Tower) This band lives in New York City now, but they were originally from Philadelphia, which makes a lot more sense to me, as they are perfectly in tune with the dreamy pop sounds that bands like Lenola, the Photon Band and the Twin Atlas have been making for years. Like those bands, Overlord has the ability to make even the simplest pop songs like "The Very Next Person To Hold My Hand Can Have Me" and "World Without Mirrors" seem dreamy just by giving it some reverb and a fuzzy sound (not distorted, but more like an equivalent of vaseline on the lens, as if this were the soundtrack to a dream sequence). In fact, there are a variety of classic pop styles seamlessly running through these songs, that reminds me a lot of the Magnetic Fields' habit of genre-hopping, as well as similar bands, like La Musique Populaire or My Teenage Stride (whose Tris McCall is also a member of this band). I've gotta say, I'm really quite impressed with this record - the first time I listened to it, I was just astounded that every new song was as good as or better than the last. And even better, there were a few songs that stuck with me after the record was done! This record is the reason I wait until the year is over before making year-end best of lists...   MTQ=14/14" (Top Ten of 2006) Review by Chris McFarlane.

Dagger Zine: "OVERLORD- TICKER SYMBOLS- STORM TOWER- Sometimes I’ll read a review that Chris Macfarlane (Mr. Indie Pages to you) had written and I’ll say, “Wow, sounds like something I’d love !” Well, that happened with this record, I read his review and decided I had to hear the record. The label was kind enough to send me one and lo and behold, it’s fantastic. The band hails from Philly but have apparently all moved to NYC (and took their name from a losing horse in the 1993 Kentucky Derby) and I’m convinced that TICKER SYMBOLS will be hailed as a classic if not now…..then sometime in the future (hey, you know how music fans are…it could take 25-30 years). The opening “Is this Thing On?” sounds like something Brian Wilson would have concocted in his sandbox while “The Family Plot’ is pure jangle pop bliss. Elsewhere you have the heavenly “Boy Shiva” (like prime Magnetic Fields) and the upbeat, chirpy (and awesomely titled ) “Should’ve Done Drugs.” You’ll also hear echoes of Stereolab, Outrageous Cherry or even 60’s soft-poppers like The Association. I dunno if I should give all the credit to the vocalist/instrumentalist George Pasles but heck, I gotta blame someone, right (My Teenage Strides Tris McCall is also a member ) ….so George you have my sincere promise that if we ever meet face to face I’m buying you dinner. Seriously…..this record is THAT good. A classic if anyone’s looking." (Top Five of 2006)Review by Tim Hinely.

Delusions of Adequacy "overlord - Ticker Symbols - (Storm Tower) - What a find this CD is. I had never heard of overlord, even though they are originally from Philadelphia where I have been living. Judging by their name I was fearing schlock-metal, but they are nothing of the sort - I guess the lower-case “o” is a hint. Overlord is really a guy named George Pasles, joined by what, apparently, are various regular and irregular band members (the credits list I don’t know how many drummers). In any event, the group has been kicking around for a few years now—this is their fifth release. Ticker Symbols is a definite keeper. The album opens with an excellent Brian Wilson homage (shouldn’t every album have one?) in “Is This Thing On?,” replete with what is referred to as a “Penfield mood organ” (a Philip K. Dick reference). For the rest of the album, the retro-fetish is on and it is all done very well. The influences quickly shift from Wilson to the jangle guitar of The Notorious Byrd Brothers-era Byrds (especially in standouts, "Should've Done Drugs" and "Evergreen"), the harmonies of the Summer of Love darlings, The Association, and Parles’[sic] very British-feeling vocals, ala Morrissey, often have a haunting echo-effect reminiscent of, again, the Byrds, but also the Charlatans UK and the Stone Roses. If you haven’t noticed, I cannot write this review without throwing out tons of band references. Of course, sometimes when the influences are so clear and so frequent, the word “derivative” isn’t far behind—but that’s not the case here, at all. Overlord has taken some under-appreciated and somewhat disparate influences and managed to charter some new territory of their own. The only artist I can think of with a similar style might be retro-power popper Chris von Sneidern. But, like von Sneidern, overlord doesn’t merely rehash the past — they both build on it as well as milk it for everything its worth. Hey, if it sounds this good, why not? The entertaining CD booklet quotes self-help form icon Melody Beattie (of “Codependency No More” fame), Nietzsche, and comedian Stephen Colbert. Given song titles such as, “The Very Next Person That Holds My Hand Can Have Me,” my take on all of this is that Parles[sic] has worked really, really hard at getting his relationships right--not to mention finding the meaning of life. Yet sometimes, I guess, you just have go with your love for Brian Wilson, The Byrds and Morrissey, make great music, and forget about the rest." Review by Jim Cosby

UsedWigs.Com: "For years a good buddy of mine has been telling me to check out local Philly band Overlord (they've now relocated to Brooklyn), and it became an (admittedly lame) joke between us how little I knew about their music. Of course there was the typical banter that has plagued the band from the onset…"Overlord? Do they open for GWAR? Har har har…" Their latest release, Ticker Symbols, proves that this was clearly my mistake. Far, far, far from metal (a little research reveals that their name comes from a losing horse in the 1993 Kentucky Derby), the band pumps out very quirky pop/rock that on this release sounds to my ears like a mix of XTC, the Beach Boys (the good Beach Boys, not the "Kokomo" Beach Boys), and maybe a sprinkle of The Smiths in there too. Point of interest: check out "The Walking Microphone" — the vocals on the first few lines are a dead ringer for Andy Partridge. That's not to say in any way that this album sounds derivative — in fact, it sounds more like it inhabits a time and space all it's own, assumed influences aside. All of the tunes have a bit of an otherworldly quality to them, owing to interesting application of reverb to various instruments and the psychedelic pixie dust that has been sprinkled on, providing overtones of say, The Zombies circa Odessey and Oracle. But let me reiterate: this collection is a fresh and modern take on the elements that made previous pop music in this vein so endearing and powerful in the first place. Jangly guitars and brit-pop drum beats abide, toy pianos pop up on "Cruel People Don't Lie", and tunes like "Evergreen" could be forgotten gems from the British Invasion collections of the late 60's. Elsewhere, "We'll Never Get Away" sounds like Dear 23 era Posies, and "World Without Mirrors" plays with delay over top of a driving pop tune that has some hints of early Cure.The song with the best title on the album, "The Very Next Person To Hold My Hand Can Have Me" also boasts my favorite line: And everyone I've ever loved is somewhere / Loving someone else who isn't me. It's an excellent album, and one that truly reveals more to the listener with each spin. Pick this up and live with it for a while — and while you're at it, check out some of the back catalog as well — particularly the release with one of my favorite album covers of all time, 2003's The World Takes, featuring a gorgeous and highly contextual shot of the second half of a famous Trenton area bridge." - Russ Starke

Whole Lotta Album Covers: "Overlord - Ticker Symbols. If you pay any attention to what's happening on this cover, you'll also get a good idea of the music inside. At first glance, it just a sappy, happy shot of a wedding cake. Doesn't it look tasty. Mmmm, I love butter cream icing. But something is amiss... I can't quite put my finger on it.... Hey, where's the bride? Hold on, that's not very happy at all. Just like the cover, the music leaves you with the suspicion that life isn't quite a bowl of cherries (or cake with butter cream icing). "

Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense: "[t]he album is carefully crafted and downright irresistible. It draws on happy, jangly pop from both the 60s and the 80s and creates something very near to perfect in its own realm. This isn’t an album where any single element stands out. Vocals, guitar, rhythms, none of these stand up on their own, yet together they fall so perfectly into place that it’s mind-boggling. This is the stuff for which you can’t take lessons. You either have it or you don’t and Overlord has it. The drums are minimalist; the bass lines sometimes simple, sometimes elaborate; the guitar, clean and ringing, never overdriven. The vocals are the key though. Their sweet harmonies conjure up visions of the Moody Blues or Herman’s Hermits’ big hit, “I’m Into Something Good.” But this isn’t a 60s revival. Overlord also shows an affection for the 80s guitar pop of the Church, REM and, most importantly, the Smiths as well newer elements of pop that have developed over the last decade or so. The Smiths turn out to be both a musical and spiritual guide to Overlord. Not only does Ticker Symbols interpret the Smiths ability to make hauntingly upbeat guitar pop, it also runs with the Smiths’ clever idea of matching such pop bliss with sadness. However, Overlord is far less maudlin than Morrissey and that makes the effect more subtle and in a sense more conflicting. In a sense they bridge the gap between the 60s and 80s and make it all current with a touch of ambient electronics, used sparingly. In addition, the album vaguely dabbles at times in psychedelia, punk, even country. These almost unnoticeable forays are bigger than they seem in the scheme of things. They keep it interesting without even seeming different. A term that would often be used with a band like Overlord is “pop sensibility.” It usually refers to an uncanny ability to incorporate hooks into the music. It doesn’t quite apply to Overlord though. Theirs is more of a pop consciousness or pop being. Ticker Symbols doesn’t merely understand how to use hooks, hooks are its very essence. Like the groom on the album cover, you might feel like you’ve been left at the altar, but the cake still tastes great."

Razorcake: "This Philly five-piece plays jangly '50s/ '60s pop rock reminiscent of the Beatles meeting up with Guided By Voices and running into Belle & Sebastian. Throw some Elvis and Jetenderpaul (anyone remember them?) in there and fourteen songs and thirty-five minutes later you have their album. Most of the songs are catchy, upbeat, and definitely a throwback to another era when rock and roll was simple and straight-forward. That's not to say that Overlord's style is entirely from your parents' generation; they've obviously had their share of filtering all of it through an indie pop filter in order to throw a few curves in there. I'm not real excited about this, but neither can I just say that it sucks because it's well done and well produced. However, I can't imagine too many Razorcake readers being real stoked on this." –Kurt Morris

Exclaim! (Canada): "Overlord - Ticker Symbols - (Storm Tower) - Right from the first track of Ticker Symbols, it is clear that Philadelphia’s Overlord are making no attempt to conceal their musical influences. The group’s third album is the work of unabashed Anglophones fixated with ’80s Manchester jangle and British invasion hooks. The songs are swathed in muffled lo-fi production, which provides the songs with an early shoegazer veneer, but this cannot obscure the dominant focus of the album — pop. It’s something the group are more than capable of pulling off — as on the tongue-in-cheek Smiths tribute “The Very Next Person Who Holds My Hand Can Have Me.” Singer George Pasles employs a flowery, melodramatic lyrical style, and it’s desperately hard to avoid comparing his narrative voice to that of the infamous Morrissey. But something doesn’t seem quite right as Pasles goes blue-faced trying to contort his verbose acrobatics around his songs. Utterances like “byzantine ribaldry” and “moral torques are in static equilibrium” should be used with caution at the best of times. Morrissey, meanwhile, has a distinct knack for dry wit and keen poetic instinct to make lyrics like these work for him in spite (or because) of any perceived pomposity. Pasles still has some work to do in this regard, because on Ticker Symbols, he comes across as forced and clumsy. This is a shame, because otherwise the songs on this record have a palpable capability to get lodged very firmly in people’s heads." Whuppin' by Pras Rajagopalan.

AOL Viral Videos (World Without Mirrors Video Review): "Rock, Clown, Rock. Imagine if Luis Bunuel directed a music video for an indie Brit-pop band. Oh, stop imagining and just bathe in the weirdness."


Philadelphia City Paper (DVD Review): "Philly's own Overlord almost steals the show with the hauntingly bleak love song "Landlubber" and its equally stark single-shot, black-and-white video. In it, singer George Pasles emerges backward from the ocean, his clothes becoming ever drier as waves pull away from him and he reaches the shore. For a second, he turns to face the camera before time switches from reverse to forward and his journey into the ocean begins. Eventually his head slips beneath the water and you fear the worst. You can't do that on television." Review by Patrick Rapa.

SSMT: “No, Overlord is NOT a metal band, but they sure make some tasty pop music. A far more somber affair than its predecessor (2001's The Wonderful World of Chemistry), The World Takes is a diverse and often gorgeous collection of reverb-drenched, lo-fi pop songs. Band mastermind George Pasles, a Pennsylvania-based one-time calculus professor, has found a near-perfect balance of shoegazer rock (the Slowdive-influenced "Secrets in Pairs"), folk ("Warm Body"), Smiths-derived mope-rock ("A Boy in Name Only"), and fuzzy pop ("The Brand New Panic"). It can be said that Pasles looks to the recent past for his influences, but he is not content to straddle one artistic fence. The bevy of instrumentation and depth of emotion found on such tracks as "Landlubber" and the aforementioned "Warm Body" are worth the price of admission alone, but special mention must go the 11-minute epic "Stillbornagain". Highly recommended.” Review by Alec A. Head.

INKBLOT MAGAZINE: “...Overlord, whose brilliant album title (The World Takes -- what up Trenton!) more than compensates for their crap band name. Oh, and there's music, and it's pretty fab, a kind of powerpop Smiths whose lyrical conceits and easy tunes should shame anyone who bought into last year's alleged Morrissey comeback. Emperor Moz has no clothes, kids, Overlord nicked his robes....” Review by Jesse Fahnestock.

SPLENDID E-ZINE: “Who knew the '80s would make such a strong comeback? Before you roll your eyes at the thought of yet another new wave revival act bouncing to cheesy dance pop synthesizers, you should be aware that this isn't the aspect of '80s music Overlord most adores. Nor is it hair metal, although the band name does scream Aqua Net and spandex. Instead, Overlord worships at the alter of mope-rockers like Joy Division, The Cure and The Smiths, and you can bet all of those bands' fingerprints are smeared all over songs like "Landlubber" and "Secrets In Pairs". However, it isn't all tortured romanticism for this Philadelphia group. While it's true that you'd probably never tag Overlord head honcho George Pasles's writing as vivacious, he does demonstrate a certain knack for spare, bubbling, almost-upbeat pop. Lyrics like "So there's one / and only one / person that you will know / and if you're lucky / they'll stick around till you go" still lumber "One And Only One" with an aura of melancholy, but that doesn't stop Storm Tower from occasionally oozing sweet pop goodness. Any band that can employ a ukulele as convincingly as Overlord does on "Warm Bodies" obviously isn't concerned that all its songs can be neatly filed into a single genre. Whether it's the Beach Boys-like pop of "A Boy In Name Only" and "A Brand New Panic", "Human To The Corps"'s surf rock, or the brooding yet strangely sunny "Give It Up! Let It Go!", Pasles isn't afraid to dabble in whatever genre strikes his fancy. All of these songs seem vaguely familiar: you'll be almost certain you've heard them somewhere before, and you'll instinctively feel comfortable with them. That could likely be misinterpreted as a criticism, and it probably would be if it were aimed at any of the of uninspired leg warmer-wearing synth-pop bands currently battling for the retro throne. Maybe calling Overlord's material familiar implies that it's recycled, unoriginal and uncalled for, but that's definitely not the case. Perhaps merely telling you that you need to hear these songs is the most direct and sensible approach.” Review by Trevor Fisher.

EXCLAIM! (CANADA): " ...overlord revel in the echoed, hazy indie pop that fans of the Smiths and early ’90s British bands like Adorable based their short but memorable careers on. There is much variation to the composition of the songs, but befitting the name, there is a definite vision of how everything should come together. Opener “Room Enough” is the blueprint of the Overlord sound, and it works wonderfully, with the slight British tinge of Pasles’ voice either enchanting or providing fodder for easy derision. “Give It Up! Let It Go!” comes closest to the Murmurs-era R.E.M. and combined with evocative, “Landlubber” furthers the notion that Pasles is a bit of a music historian. Hiding behind quips and big ideas — the liner notes state that “overlord is a federally-funded reason-based initiative” and with their e-mail address “all questions answered, all answers questioned” — Overlord actually have made a wonderful, if not too deep, piece of dreamy pop goodness. Its feet are firmly in the near past, but this could also easily stand among contemporary torch-bearers like Stars. Like the epic closer, “Stillbornagain,” The World Takes may be easy to encapsulate on surface, but it is only through time that its sheer sonic delights truly come forward." Review by Chris Whibbs.

TRENTONIAN: "Faintly misleading name be damned, overlord makes quiet but arresting, jangly but sad melodies in the tradition of the Magnetic Fields, the Smiths and the Cure. The Lyrics? A little on the depressed side. But Pasles' melodies are bouncing, light and beautiful. 'It's all about ripping off the right people,' said Pasles. 'I grew up on the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. I doubt that comes across but they really are it for me.' So there you have it; overlord is well versed in modern rock classics." Show preview by Alexandra Richmond.

VILLAGE VOICE: "Voice Choices: George Pasles, a Philly hybrid of Morrissey and Stephin Merritt who strangely calls himself Overlord (and tours with a band), may well do both men justice, thanks to his dandified singing and quaint melodies alike." Show preview by Chuck Eddy.

VANITY PROJECT ZINE (UK): “...Rather than the metal band they sound like, we’re in Magnetic Fields territory with Chills-like melancholy at root. It’s a cold grind at times and seems to take a very English approach. Apparently two versions of Overlord were in operation on each US coast performing Pasles’ songs. Anyone care to form an English version?” Review by Skif.

PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER: "On The World Takes (Storm Tower), the fifth release from Philadelphian George Pasles' one-man project, he hones to a razor's edge his brooding, 1980s-style synth pop. Pasles' ethos -- which nods to kindred spirits Morrissey and Stephin Merritt -- celebrates dark clouds, not silver linings. Even on the superficially chipper, toy-piano-enlivened "Warm Body," Pasles sings cynically, "Better here than on your own/ Better me than all alone." Dour, yes, but the hooks get under your skin." Review by Brian Howard.

CMJ NEW MUSIC MONTHLY : “Hearing overlord for the first time, you might assume the group is a latecomer to the ‘80s revival, or just aping the Magnetic Fields. But George Pasles' one-man Pennsylvania band has been turning out first-rate, '80s-style Manchester mope-rock since the mid- '90s, and it's about time the rest of the world caught up to his personal retro-revolution. overlord revels in the austere beauty of a haunting synth peppered with a four-note guitar lead and spare, driving snare hits. Every song drifts along at nearly the same misty pace while remaining ever so slightly distinct: The 10-minute-plus "Stillbornagain“ melts and slides with a backwards-masking effect that suggests a harmonium; a spry ukulele and toy vibraphone perk up "Warm Body." Yet none of it overwhelms Pasles' guttural pining, as he oozes out lines like, "The sad are wretched/ And the happy are merely wrong/ And you shift your pitch/ To match who you'll string along." While Pasles‘ lyrics may be maudlin, his melodies temper the melodrama with economic refrains that soothe and celebrate each song's dour glory. overlord reminds you that you needn't look back in shame at '80s angst. Just leave the Kohl eyeliner and dippity-do in the drawer. File Under: Mope-rock; Recommended If You Like: The Magnetic Fields, Joy Division, New Order.”