Brimming with darkly sweet pop hooks, Cafebar 401 blends Bowie-esque vocal presence with danceable grooves rooted in Euro-rock. Currently setting the Dutch pop scene ablaze, the band has appeared this year on Dutch national television and radio. Their relentlessly contemporary sound calls to mind Coldplay, Masters of Reality, Muse, Beck, Soulwax, Radiohead, and Queens of the Stone Age, but they bring something of their own to the party. Don't miss it. After signing with U.S.-based indie label Wampus Multimedia last year, Cafebar 401 rated an in-depth profile in the influential Dutch daily, De Telegraaf, and was featured prominently on Dutch television with SBS6. They are becoming fixtures at pop festivals up and down The Netherlands, including Dauwpopfestival, Struikpaaspop, IO-festival, and Wollipop. Cafebar 401 leader Tije Oortwijn grew up listening to the Black Crowes, the Rolling Stones, and Masters of Reality. He first piloted grunge-driven bands during the mid-'90s. Gradually he absorbed his influences and concocted the shadowy pop confections of Cafebar 401. Combining the roar of alternative rock with the drum-and-bass of N.E.R.D., Timbaland, Daft Punk, Cassius, and Outkast, Cafebar 401 evokes a hipper Foo Fighters, a fun and funkier Bush. The irrepressible 'Something Worth Dying For,' one of the band's live staples, boasts an uptempo drum-and-bass beat with a Fu Manchu-like guitar riff and a Masters of Reality-style chorus. Cafebar 401 departs enough from their influences, however, to cast a distinctive shadow. The first single, 'I Need to Know,' is a blast of tuneful emo, a modern-rock power ballad cast as yearning band-and-strings lament. Bangers such as 'Full-pro Disco!' and '2 am' augment frenetic dance tracks ('Something Worth Dying For') and contemplative pop ('Troubles,' 'Many Left Here Long Before'). Oortwijn is a songwriter first, a craftsman of guitar and studio. He infuses his songs with a mix of celebration and sadness. 'If the song isn't powerful,' he says, 'we throw it away.' With the release of their debut, Cafebar 401 is reaching beyond The Netherlands to greater Europe and the United States. Armed with a disc that rocks hard and sticks like candy, Cafebar 401 could stick with you. ***** PRESS.... 'Superlatives fail to accurately capture what Cafebar 401 has so capably put on plastic, and that's not an easy thing for a music critic to admit. This is one of those records that immediately begs for a place on your 'best of' list at the end of the year. You're not sure why, but you keep playing it - over and over and over again - and, with each successive listen, you become more certain that what you're hearing is somehow important. If there were any justice in the music business, Cafebar 401 would be the Next Big Thing. I, for one, look forward to more from these guys.' --Aaron Bragg, Indie-Music.com 'Cafebar 401 reminds me of another great, underappreciated disc of recent vintage: Idlewild's The Remote Part. While not all the songs on Cafebar 401 fit the mold (a good thing, incidentally), some of them do, notably 'Many Left Here Long Ago,' 'Something Worth Dying For,' and 'Sense Working Overtime,' whose 'wherever she goes she blows me away' chorus is nothing short of brilliant. Perhaps it's that frontman Tije Oortwijn's singing is ideal for the alternative Euro-rock tracks the band has put to record. Perhaps it's the way in which one song flows generously into the next without sounding like the previous track in much the same way that a great mix tape does. For example, the opening track, 'Full Pro Disco,' gives little insight into what listeners will find on the remainder of the disc; however, at the same time, it draws the listener in, daring him to venture further. Equally impressive is the band's ability to downshift on tracks like 'Lost Without You' (which bears a passing resemblance to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 'Under the Bridge') and 'Troubles,' and then pick up the tempo again on tracks like 'Bob Ross on Drugs' and '2 AM.' 'Today' out-Coldplays Coldplay, and it's at about this point in the disc where you realize you're almost to the end and completely mad about this stunning CD. Oortwijn has a beautiful singing voice and he works it out here.' --Groovevolt.com 'This band will undoubtedly be compared to many Euro bands before them, and that would not be an insult. The difference is that they have recorded a well put together album that plays as nice and constant, and many others cannot claim such a feat. There are no shocking, crazy songs thrown in for effect. There are a couple of songs that make you want to cry, which I always love. The upbeat tunes aren't too much that they distract from the calming effect the album has as a whole. My favorite song by far is 'Troubles.' I love when a boy admits how much a gal can affect him... it is passionate and tragic and it makes me feel like I am in a movie. In fact, I might even add this song to my 'if they made a movie about my life, what would the soundtrack be' list. Then someone could sing this about me... 'Touched by everything she said, as I lied beneath her head, I'm crazy about her!' Enough! Cafebar 401 also has a song titled 'Bob Ross on Drugs' which no doubt is a twisted ode to the 'fro-wearing, 'happy painter' who just loved nature scenes. Aw, Bob Ross. A great debut album from a band soon to be well known.' --Brenna Krause, Left Off the Dial 'The Netherlands' Cafebar 401 are the perfect injection into modern alternative's lackluster and collapsed veins. Evoking images of early Foo Fighters with electronics this side of Beck and that side of Timbaland, Cafebar 401 even throw in fuzzy guitars not properly heard on non-stoner rock albums. They could be the recreation of someone important enough to sit side-by-side to a Weezer or Nirvana while effortlessly recalling past efforts of the '90's greats in the alt-rock scene. Vocally they're on target with melody firmly held and shedding gruffness for a coalesced minimalism in guitar-driven rock's arena. Then you also have numbers like 'Senses Working Overtime' that find the quartet impatiently plunking at their instruments, driving each other to insanity with frenetic confusion. This is a must-hear.' --Smother.net 'Wow, this band should be all over modern-rock radio right now. They're amazing. Hailing from Holland, Cafebar 401 specialize in a sound that sometimes seems very British, especially the vocals remind me of bands from the melancholic indie/Brit pop-rock world, but as those bands often keep a rather simplistic and laid-back style to their songs, Cafebar 401 sticks out with their lively guitar power-pop, oftentimes sounding like Foo Fighters and/or even The Rasmus (check those breakdowns). I cannot say enough good things about this album, I just hope these guys get the attention they deserve.' --Past and Present 'Dutch alterna-rockers Cafebar 401 play some engagingly quirky euro-pop on their new, self-titled CD. From a kitchen sink of influences, this talented quartet has culled a style that is unique but recognizable, if that makes any sense. The record starts out light and frothy with the ironically titled (I hope) 'Full-pro Disco' which thrashes energetically. The R.E.M.-ish 'Many left here long ago' follows, making things all dreamy and spooky. 'Senses working overtime,' the next cut, sounds not unlike Radiohead, only not as self-conciously portentous. 'Something worth dying for' sounds again like Radiohead, and...wait, you know what? A LOT of this record sounds like Radiohead! In fact, this band sounds like Radiohead would sound if they enjoyed what they were doing. In fact, I'd rather buy a Cafebar 401 record than a Radiohead record. But that's just me. Good band, good tunes. So what if they mostly sound like Radiohead?' --Norman Famous' Reviews.
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