".....an honest, unflinching salvo from an undeniably talented artist"
-The Herald Times


"(For the Posers...)is distinguished by its combination of straight ahead rock Instrumentation and smarter than usual lyrics. Statland proves to be an astute observer of society and human nature on well crafted cuts like "Wine and Roses" and "Euthanasiaî--songs that demand to be heard in a live setting."
-Billboard Magazine


"NYCSmoke's new CD, "For the Posers" ia a gritty, uncompromising look at urban life. "I get inspiration from bums," Statland said in a recent phone interview, "I like my music to be rough around the edges. We cut live in the studio. It has a raw feeling. ...Growing up, Statland related to the emotional playing of The Who's Pete Townshend. "I related to the physicality of the way he plays, the release of violence and the self expression of it," he said. ...Statland wants to work on more "subdued" music that reflects his interest in film. "I want my music to sound like a black-and-white film," he said."
-Kane County Chronicle


"The lyrics move across the guitars like snapshots of big city life, sometimes slipping into the shallowness of the gutters, sometimes flying between the skyscrapers, but always very street-tied and filling out the urban ache with some raw honesty and tight rhythms."
-The Big Takeover


"Preceeding the end of Thin Lizard Dawn, singer/songwriter Howie Statland's solo project, Low Flame, had already released two self-produced records, "Slave to the Party," and "Low Flame." The latter then served as the soundtrack to Statland's self-written and directed indie film of the same name. Soon after, composer Philip Glass took to a performance of Low Flame where Statland scored live instrumentation. Struck by Statland's impressive compositional and textural skills, Glass invited Statland to compose a score for a Ralph Steiner film. ...After his Glass-pioneered venture into the abstract, Statland's desire to return to the simple, viscerally gratifying arena of rock grew uncontainable. Low Flame soon became No Flame and then there was Smoke. Filtering Statland's J.J. Cale-like lyrical aptitude on the topic of Cocaine ("Lies," "The Letter," and the glam-infused T-Rex styled elegy "Pick and Choose"), through impact resistant, ripped on the edges, tensely fraught no bullshit rock-n-roll Posers is a crunchy, chemically twisted powerhouse. Angry, sometimes even enraged, the raunchy, simplified clang of NYCSmoke is the liberating sound of a liberated man."
-The Aquarian


"Damn, NYCSmoke has mare grit than 320 premium grade sandpaper! Ever since I pressed play, I've had a hard time listening to anything other than this disc. "For the Posers" kicks up a gamut 'o dust with plenty of catchy hooks, equally matching acoustics, searing guitars, and screaming poetic lyrics."
-Get Underground

 

Detroit Voxpop
April 5, 2002


If all you have to go by is “FOR THE POSERS,” and at this point it is,
it would seem like posing is something that Howie Statland doesn’t seem
to know much about. Every track on NYC SMOKE’s debut caries with it a
realness that is generally washed clean of your average big label/commercial music factory product. Here you hear an artist torturing and twisting himself like a sponge with each golden drop of inspiration qualitatively incomparable to anything out at the moment but
let us try anyway.

THE STROKES, also from NYC, would seem to share Statland’s affection for Punk-Rock cum Bob Dylan mix of blunt musical phrasing and soul ripping lyrical sentiment. Phrases like “My empire of doubt crushes everyone” and “If death is really God’s ocean, than we are his only wound” go beyond simple statements of personal understanding and insight to
something that anyone, anywhere immediately understands and more often than not, feels.

Like a needle scratching across a slab of vinyl, (remember that stuff?),
Statland’s voice absolutely refuses to be given equal billing as any
other instrument. Part Tom Petty, some Springsteen a little Lou Reed and
maybe even a cut of Kurt Cobain, Howie’s voice draws and delivers each
song with every ounce of its intended force. Yeah, someone else could
sing the songs but not nearly as well as they are here and it is all
because he so obviously and truly believes in what he is singing. The
man is no poser.

Best track? It is a toss up between the ZEPPELIN-esc “Pick & Choose”
and the three-minute raver “Balance” which despite its name never fails
to knock the listener over. Each has its own charm, the first is
slightly more paced than the rest of the disc whereas the latter is the
equivalent of mainlining cappuccino, but choosing isn’t necessary when
you get both and everything between the two on one damned brilliant disc.

By the end of “FOR THE POSERS” Howie Statland is likely to be elevated
in each listeners estimation to that of the genre’s best
singer/songwriters with the added joy of knowing this is only the
beginning.


INDIEVILLE.COM
MARCH, 2002

NYC Smoke, also known as Howie Statland, has had a large history as a musician, taking part in outfits like Thin Lizard Dawn and Low Flame. This is his first release as NYC Smoke, and it features a great selection of catchy, powerful songs. There are so many influences on this album, making for a diverse, intricate collection of pieces. Statland's raspy voice accompanies the electric guitar, bass, and drums perfectly, making for entirely successful results. As well, the lyrics are impeccably written, using regular themes, but mastering them with his own style of creative wordplay. Some of the pieces here, like "Balance" and "The Letter," sound like they'd fit perfectly on a Nirvana album, while others take cues from bands like Iron Maiden, Blonde Redhead (briefly), and even The The. "The Fallout" is a truly inspired piece that succeeds in being infinitely catchy, and is pulled off with amazing attitude and raw emotion. The best piece on this album, however, is "The Letter," an amazing song that features great melody, great mood, and great power. When Statland bellows out "Are we really star-crossed lovers?/Star fuckers?" you can't help but feel overwhelmed by the intense strength of the song. Despite all these good moments, however, a few of the songs also fall flat. For example, "Halo Man" and "Pick And Choose" don't really bring much to this album, giving off a tired, redundant feeling. They are not necessarily poor pieces, but they don't add anything to the collection of songs. However, the good outnumbers the bad here, and, all in all, this album is a success.