By Stephen Thompson, NPR Music
A sort of supergroup, thenewno2 (pronounced "the new number two") features Grammy-winning sound engineer Paul Hicks and Dhani Harrison, son of George and founding member of Fistful of Mercy - yet another supergroup, which Harrison shares with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur. Together, thenewno2 is about to release its second album, thefearofmissingout; out July 31, it's a concept record about, well, the fear of missing out. As such, it packs together a dizzying array of ideas, sounds, samples, guests and all things buzzy and busy.
Hicks clearly contributes much of the clatter, chopping up odds and ends in a way that renders the guitars, pianos and drums slightly askew - it's a fizzy, whiz-bang concoction that also functions as sleek, stylish rock 'n' roll. In spite of Harrison's lineage, his father's influence rarely seems to extend beyond the occasional vocal similarity; if anything, thenewno2 feels more inspired by Radiohead than any given Beatle.
The album also, for fear of missing out, rarely misses a chance to experiment and surprise, from an excursion into hip-hop (complete with a guest rap from RZA in "The Wait Around") to the wall of churning fuzz which dominates "I Won't Go." The whole affair radiates urgency, giving fearofmissingout a sense of restless energy that helps it sound both independent-minded and eager to please.
thefearofmissingout will be available to stream on demand from Monday July 23 through July 30, 2012.
A TICKETS GIVEAWAY FOR OUR LA FANS
We have a few spots left to see thenewno2, THIS WEDNESDAY, July 25 in a private recording studio in Santa Monica.
It is the perfect place to preview this sophomore album thefearofmissingout as it’s their FIRST LA appearance behind it and will be one of their only shows in the area.
Just give the record a listen and drop a comment below with your own thoughts! We will reward two thoughtful reviewers with a pair of tickets. Don't forget to drop your email in the submission form! We will notify our two winners before Tuesday afternoon.