Nic Snyder and Josh Sickels promised themselves they wouldn't talk about their old band, Takeover UK -- but it's hard to avoid the subject. The local garage-rock band they were in together was notable locally, and started to make a splash elsewhere. They signed to Rykodisc, waited years for their album to be released, then were unceremoniously dropped by the label and broke up.
Since then, the pair formed 1, 2, 3, a band with a wider spectrum of influences and an odd name. ("I'd never heard the term ‘un-Googleable' until we named the band," Snyder says with a laugh.)
The band is based around songs that Snyder had begun to write even before Takeover called it quits. "I had a stockpile of songs I knew wouldn't work with Takeover," he explains. "I wanted to do something without the same genre constraints."
In early 2010, Snyder and Sickels moved to Los Angeles in hopes of making a living there. While they were on the West Coast, a single they'd recorded with Jake Hanner of Donora at his home studio in Pittsburgh began getting attention in the U.K. A publishing company there invited the band to play some shows in England in early 2010, and the band was well received.
After the England trip, 1, 2, 3 was contacted by Brooklyn's Frenchkiss Records. They set up a plan to release a record with the album, and recorded New Heaven, their new album, in Brooklyn with Nicholas Vernhes. (Vernhes had just finished recording Sondre Lerche's new album -- which led to the Norwegian popster lending vocals on the 1, 2, 3 record.)
New Heaven is a far cry from what we came to expect from Snyder and Sickels' old band. Difficult to pin by genre, the record swings from epic chorus to retro-pop rocker then into Brooklyn synth-pop territory.
By chance, 1, 2, 3's release show is actually the band's first in Pittsburgh -- Sickels notes that they just didn't have a chance to play locally after they got their live band together. Regardless, Snyder and Sickels say they have no intention of leaving town.
"I still want to be a band that'll show up and play Lava Lounge on a Thursday night," Sickels says. "We're Pittsburgh guys through and through."
1, 2, 3 RELEASE SHOW with NEW SHOUTS, MACHETE. 8 p.m. Fri., July 1. The Shop, 4312 Main St., Bloomfield. $6. All ages. 412-951-0622