Jaded In Chicago

Review of "Over Leavitt"

With Over Leavitt, Noise By Numbers picks up right where its 2009 debut full-length Yeah, Whatever leaves off, but with a more mellow and introspective disposition. Over Leavitt starts off raw and builds up with "A Song for Emily," before ripping into "Lost My Way," which is an energetic, melodic sing-along about finding yourself off the tracks. "Yes, You" sounds like a throwback to the mid-'80s punk/new wave sound, vaguely reminiscent of an electric, sped-up version of A Flock of Seagulls' "Space Age Love Song." "I Don't Think So" echoes a feeling of disapproval and disgust, and singer/guitarist Dan Schafer repeats himself in such a way that his definitiveness is clear. Over Leavitt takes its time without shedding any of the band's established qualities. It's also a diverse album that sees the band perpetuate its geographically-oriented songs, which is a unique quality that I really enjoy about them. One of my favorite aspects of Schafer's lyrics is how the listener picks up on him conveying something he knows. First you have to trust him and then he becomes your tour guide or teacher for a few minutes and you're the student. If his story follows specific streets and train lines, it not only creates a scene and sparks imagination, but it humanizes him beyond being just 'the artist' and gives us a taste of something we may not already know. Over Leavitt is a matured and developed Noise By Numbers album that conveys the essence of this band wonderfully.

Alternative Press

Review of "Over Leavitt"

A Chicago punk supergroup of sorts, Noise By Numbers were formed in late 2008 by Dan "Vapid" Schafer (Screeching Weasel, the Methadones) and Jeff Dean (The Bomb), and initially featured Neil Hennessy of the Lawrence Arms. The follow-up to 2009's debut record, Yeah Whatever..., Over Leavitt is permeated by a wistful malaise from start to finish, though their punk roots have been tamed slightly. Instead, "I Don't Think So" and the title track almost sound like a brasher version of very early R.E.M., managing to be both melodic and discordant at the same time. Elsewhere, "Disappointed" is a soaring lo-fi punk anthem, while "Radiate" offers a slower, more contemplative side to the band - yet like the rest of the album, still brims with fierce, vital intensity.

One Kind Radio

Review of "Over Leavitt"

Noise By Numbers are a supergroup of sorts combining some of my favorite bands over the years with Dan "Vapid" Schafer (formerly of Screeching Weasel / Riverdales / Methadones), Jeff Dean (The Bomb / All Eyes West), Rick Uncapher (Textbook), and Jimmy Lucido (Light FM).


Since their last album, "Yeah, Whatever…" (2009) on Asian Man Records, it sounds like the band has ironed out the kinks and are working on all cylinders kicking out one of the best Indie Punk albums I've heard in a while. From start to finish "Over Leavitt" is chalk full of killer guitar work, vocal harmonies, catchy hooks, and will have you bouncing around the house singing along to every track. Great fucking album overall and well worth the little amount of money to download, buy the CD, or… as in my case… buy the limited edition vinyl.

Jersey Beat

Review of "Yeah, Whatever"

Fronted by the inimitable Dan Schafer, known to the world as the one and only Dan Vapid, Noise By Numbers does a good job of tapping into the Husker Du, Replacements influenced style of punk rock without falling off the edge into the world of Emo. Being a fan of most things Vapid, I personally enjoyed listening to him venture into a new land in the world of pop and once again walk out it's king. The band is rounded out with a solid line up of Jeff Dean on guitar, Rich Uncapher on Bass and Neil Hennessy on drums and backing vocals. The songs are all credited to Schaffer/Dean and it's safe to say that the duo did a great job of putting together a group of songs that would hold onto the familiar feeling of Schafer's previous output without failing to sound new and interesting. This album has a melodic almost emo feel, but it has balls too. I'd suggest it to anyone that feels that the aggression and angst of punk rock is only complimented with a little bit of melody. "Seventeen on the Wayside" and "Paris in September" are my favorites, but the entire album is strong.

One Kind Radio

Review of "Yeah, Whatever"

Noise By Numbers is a Pop-Punk juggernaut from right here in Chicago with their debut Asian Man Records release "yeah, whatever…"! It just goes to show that with this All-Star cast of musicians (Dan Schafer of Screeching Weasel, Methadones, and the Riverdales on lead vocals, Neil Hennessy from the Lawrence Arms on Drums for this recording, Jeff Dean of The Bomb on guitar, and Rick Uncapher of Textbook & Woolworthy fame on bass) you just can't go wrong. "yeah, whatever…" is the album I have been waiting a long time for… from the first track "17 on The Wayside" touching on the way things used to be… even mention to my old stopping grounds here in Chicago at Punkin Donuts… to another stand out track of "Paris In September" will have you hoppin around like a crack head on fire… to the tune "Waiting For The Train" once again talking about Chicago… and I felt it sum up my life now as I am on the Blue Line from Logan Square and how Wicker Park has become Yuppified Douchebags of Lincoln Park on Trust Funds Part 2… oops, I meant gentrified…. to the closing track of "Northern Lights" yet another song you can put on a Mix Tape for your special lady friend. So, if you are looking for some good music to pump into your skull while taking the Blue line downtown to get your ass moving from day to day, or even music to blast at your house when you want to bounce around the room to annoy your old ass neighbors the floor below… this is the one you want to pick up! Nothing too crazy here… just kick ass Pop-Punk!

Jim DeRogatis

Review of "Yeah, Whatever"

Though two of its members have much higher-profile pedigrees than many of the groups that the Demo2DeRo column addresses--Dan "Vapid" Schafer has played in Screeching Weasel and the Riverdales, as well as leading the Methadones, and Jeff Dean is in the Bomb--their new collaboration with bassist Rick Uncapher (Textbook) and drummer Jimmy Lucido on the debut album "Yeah, Whatever..." could easily be overlooked outside the punk underground, and that would be a shame.

Despite the cheeky, hinting-at-generic sounds moniker, Noise By Numbers draws inspiration from the fertile'80s indie-rock scene of Husker Du, the Replacements, Dinosaur Jr. and their ilk as well as classic Chicago punk sounds like Naked Raygun and the Effigies to inject a heaping dose of sing-along melody into every propulsive and hard-hitting groove, making for an instantly familiar yet somehow distinctive and fresh-sounding formula: Good tunes are timeless, and they're always welcome.


The band has two impressive gigs in the coming weeks, at the Beat Kitchen on Dec. 4 and opening for Rise Against at Metro on Dec. 18, but a sampling of its songs are streaming now at www.myspace.com/noisebynumbers.

Can You See The Sunset

Review of "Yeah, Whatever"

One of my favorite albums of all time is Sludgeworth's Loser's Of The Year from 1993. It's a slightly obscure gem full of Chicago pop punk that features the legendary Dan Schafer (aka Danny Vapid from Screeching Weasel and The Riverdales) on vocals. While Schafer is now primarily known as the frontman for The Methadones, he is also fronting a new band called Noise By Numbers. When I first heard the songs posted to the Noise By Numbers Myspace page last year, my initial thoughts were that it sounded more like Sludgeworth than The Methadones of anything else Schafer has done since then. I was totally stoked. I actually ripped the songs from the Myspace page so that I could listen to 'em on my iPod and meant to post something about Noise By Numbers months ago, but just never got around to it.


Anyhow, Noise By Numbers has a new full-length, Yeah, Whatever… that was recently released by Asian Man Records and it is great. The record full of driving and oftentimes minor-key melodic mid-tempo pop punk and it's great. Noise By Numbers members also include Jeff Dean (of The Bomb and Certain People I Know) on guitar, Rick Uncapher (of Textbook and Woolworthy fame) on bass, plus Yeah, Whatever… features Neil Hennessy (of The Lawrence Arms and Smoking Popes) on drums even though he isn't in the band anymore. Even without the nostalgic lyrics about how things used to be, the music itself just has that certain sound. It will have you reminiscing about the shows at MacGregor's and the Fireside Bowl you grew up going to; about old friends you don't see anymore and just how different things are now. Those were the days. Go ahead and get a copy for yourself or someone you love. The CD is out now on Asian Man Records and the LP available from Solidarity.