Udi Subudi

Press/Reviews

CYBERacine Webzine

There's pop and then there's Pop Music. Backstreet, Britney and 98 Aguileras are pop. Udi Subudi is Pop Music in the finest sense. The Milwaukee-based band is currently riding the beginning of what could be a killer wave of critical and commercial success. Produced by mastermind Gary Tanin; Tom Crowell, John Lennartz, Mark Pierret, Rick Forkes and David Wright's Won't Let Gois full of delightful hooks, excellent harmonies and well thought out lyrics. The melodies are infectious, the singing engaging, and the playing solid.

A friend of mine - Carl Baker - penned what he called Drive Rock n Roll. It's music that makes you want to get in the car, roll down the windows and let the stereo rip. He used the term to describe Baton Rouge's Star Drag and Milwaukee's Framing Amy. Udi Subudi is indeed an even finer example of the Drive sound. 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Local pop-rock outfit Udi Subudi has the ear of the nation these days. Singles from the band's recently released EP Won't Let Go are getting airplay at more than 530 radio stations across the country. The title track has been added by WSAM-FM in Hartford , Conn., for a nationally syndicated broadcast. A second single, "As Far As I Can Tell," has been added to daily rotation on Trans-American Broadcasting's Best of Rock show, which reaches 78 radio stations in 37 states. Numerous other stations have also picked up two other singles, "Fray" and "That's Life."

Music Director, WBSD FM - Burlington, WI Host of Radio Chaos , WIIL FM - Kenosha, WI

It's always a joy to hear refreshing local music, and the new EP from Udi Subudi will not disappoint their present fan base, or new fans either. "Won't Let Go," the title track of the new EP, is again power pop at its best, almost reminiscent of Big Star in the 70's or The Posies in the early 90's. The song, and the whole EP for that matter, includes good lyrics, catching guitar licks, and a toe-tapping beat that has been a trademark of this band's first effort and now on their new EP.

I also like the last track "Fray" a lot. Gary Tanin, who has produced his share of some really good Milwaukee rock, produced this EP, and it is definitely worth checking out and enjoying. I highly recommend the Won't Let GoEP from Udi Subudi

The Onion

Milwaukee's Udi Subudi plays the kind of brazenly obvious Top 40 that some rock critics hate, but that radio programmers (and often the masses) seem to love. The March 11 Filter Inn show celebrates the release of Udi's slickly produced new EP, Won't Let Go, which is chock full of catchy hooks and choruses. Unironic reference point: Hootie.

Outpost Exchange

Local band's throwback pop a pleasant surprise

"There's an awful lot to like about this first release by a decidedly unfashionable local band. For starters, Udi Subudi has released an album of straight-ahead pop/rock that sounds a lot more late-70's early-80's than 1999. That takes guts, especially in an era where musical genres, sub-genres and divisions beyond have created enough descriptions to merit a technical dictionary. Other things to like about the group, composed of lead singer/harmonica John Lennartz, guitarist Tom Crowell (who doubles on bass, vocals and keyboards on the album) and dummer/vocalist Mark Pierret, include the subject matter of its all-original songs, which range from pleasant reminiscences about favorite childhood toys ("Parachute Man") and an exhortation to the rest of us to not forget the magic of youth years ("Walking on the Ceiling") to more serious topics and, of course, the usual loved-her-and-lost-her tunes. The jaunty "Be OK" addresses some weighty questions, and would easily merit an 85 were there an American Bandstand grader to judge it ("Its got a great beat, and you can dance to it").

"In the spirit of the best garage bands, Lennartz, Crowell and Pierret play with a passion and joy clearly evident in this very worthy freshman effort. Udi Subudi can also be heard live at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Milwaukee Alehouse on Water Street. And if you don't feel like going out that night, just turn on your radio, as the show will also be broadcast live on 102.1 FM, WLUM as part of Terry Havel's Sunday night "Radio Chaos" show, which includes live performances by local bands. The album is available at Brass Bell Music at Bayshore Mall and The Exclusive Company on Farwell Avenue." 

Milwaukee One

"Immediately catchy and irreverently optimistic, UDI SUBUDI’s "Hold That Thought..." combines the lack of sentimentality which graced the best of "mindless" eighties pop with the overwhelming questioning of purpose so familiar to the recent success of such songs as Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta" or The Barenaked Ladies "One Week".

"As all true successful pop bands are able to blend the best components of a variety of musical genres into one cohesive melodic sub-text; so too does UDI SUBUDI succeed in combining the subtle nuances of country, folk and traditional rock n'roll without losing originality as a "power-pop" band. For example, they feature a driving country flavor in "Twice A Week", while "Only A Thought" is reminiscent of the clear, desolate folk sound of Boiled in Lead. All songs are built upon catchy guitar riffs, providing the foundation for its clear, easily understood, introspective vocals and toe-tapping rhythms.

"For a debut release, "Hold That Thought" was surprisingly refined and as radio-ready as any veteran attempt. In their own words, "here we are and there you have it - the past is in the can I'm looking forward to the future." Look out Hootie, here comes UDI SUBUDI! And we wish you well."

Hardknocks Records

"Udi Subudi, relative newcomers to the midwest music scene, are on their way to establishing themselves as a prominent pop rock act. Their debut release, “Hold That Thought,” introduces catchy, melodic material that makes you wonder ‘Have I heard this band before?’ With songs that have you humming along and tapping your feet the first time you hear them, Udi Subudi is bound to draw some attention and have fans coming back for more." 

All Independent Music

"Udi Subudi has put together an excellent debut disc entitled, 'Hold That Thought.' This collection of pop-rock tunes is carried by catchy melodies and demonstrates strong songwriting talent. The lead vocals are smooth and melodic with good backing, and the lyrics are intelligent and introspective, with a simplicity consistent with commercial quality music. Udi Subudi definitely deserves radio play and some attention by the record industry - nearly every song on this disc could be a hit."

Shepherd Express Metro

Blending classic guitar hooks with winsome choruses, Udi Subudi evokes nostalgia for that bygone era when a variety of intelligent rock'n'roll could live happily under that one comprehensive word: alternative. "We're not writing to sound current. We're writing to sound real," says vocalist John Lennartz.

The thought translates into astute, unsentimental songwriting, making Udi Subudi as unique as its name. The intricate music and smart lyrics are sung by all three founding members-Lennartz, guitarist Tom Cromwell and drummer Mark Pierret. So catchy is their music that some Subudi songs sound like life's soundtrack.

The trio didn't rush into choosing a bass player and keyboardist, and decided to produce its first recording in 1998, long before they performed live. But that didn't seem to matter. Radio stations across the state added Udi Subudi to their playlists. A single, "Walking on the Ceiling," charted the top-50 at www.mp3.com. Udi's latest EP, Won't Let Go, released in February, has sold so well that the band is going back into the studio next month.

After finally rounding out the membership with bassist David Wright and keyboardist Rick Folkes, Udi Subudi believes its true power lives onstage. Clubs and fans are taking notice. Udi's summer schedule is laden with festivals, filling many slots usually reserved for cover bands. "We tried to warn the booking agents that we play original music," explains Lennartz, "but they liked that. They told us to just do what we always do." 

Independent Article

Under a blanket of All-American, Midwest sound, Udi Subudi carves its niche without pandering too heavily to the waves of what's currently popular on the radio. We have several stations here in San Diego that purport to play what's hip today, without much, if any, cross-over, proving that the band of what's hip and new seems to have broadened considerably.

After listening to their two recordings, the recent Won't Let Go and the 1998 release, Hold That Thought, it's easy to imagine this band following in the same paths other Milwaukeeans have traversed. These are CD's I play in regular rotation on my home stereo with Frank Zappa, Rollins Band, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix and the like. No, Subudi doesn't sound like any of these bands. They bear more resemblance to the Freddie Jones Band or Dave Matthews if one is looking to make comparisons.

The catchy tunes are quite infectious. The title song has a simple rhythm - a very danceable rhythm at that. Subudi has the feel of a garage band that prefers making its living in a dance hall, as apposed to a concert venue. Like many bands in the sixties that made it to top 40 radio despite their counter-culture leanings, Udi Subudi has a dark underside that becomes apparent in songs like "As Far As I Can Tell" and "Fray."

Their 1998 release, Hold That Thought ..., really explores that lining of agitation. They have an edge, sometimes camouflaged in a pop sound. Remember ? and the Mysterians, The Shadows of Knight  and all those bands that gave us an era of sound that defined what rock and roll would sound like for the next thirty years? That's what I think of when I listen to Udi Subudi. Music to sit at the beach with, feet planted in the sand watching the three foot glassies and Rio bikinis. Of course, since no one out here has any idea who this band is, it would no doubt have much appeal and mystery. My only hope is that fame being what it is, I may have this summer to be the only person on the sands of P.B.  listening to Udi Subudi, women coming up and asking, "Who's that?" Now I'm degenerating into adolescent fantasy, which isn't a bad place to retreat on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Any music that puts me into that daydreaming state is good. So I'm pleased to say I like Udi Subudi. Like Zappa's Apostrophe, Udi Subudi's Won't Let Go has grown on me. Now I gotta' go. I'm editing a cassette of Subudi tunes, mixed with MC5 and other sixties mainstays for my sojourn by the ocean. Just to rub it in, the temperature here this weekend is 75. According to the Yahoo weather site, Milwaukee is 30 degrees and snowing. If I were Udi Subudi, I'd move. That would make the fantasy complete. 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Udi Subudi puts smart, personal song lyrics and melodies first

A lot of musicians out there claim they've been influenced by the greats: the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones. A few bands actually prove it.

Udi Subudi is one of those rare acts.

Like McCartney and Lennon, David Gilmour & Roger Waters, or Jagger and Richards, the Milwaukee-based quartet puts songwriting first. Their lyrics are smart but not pretentious, personal but not navel-gazing, laid over catchy melodies that recall classic rock 'n' roll without being derivative.

Udi Subudi's three-man vocal harmonies and bright guitars have gotten them labeled as "power pop." While the catch-all category doesn't really fit the band's sophisticated song-crafting, front man John Lennartz says it's a label they can live with.

"What's pop?" Lennartz says with a shrug. "It means people like you. But I long for the days when it will be just 'rock 'n' roll,' without all these classifications."

"We just do what we do," adds guitarist and vocalist Tom Crowell. "We don't try to be anything other than just a rock 'n' roll band."

That take-it-as-it-comes approach to making music has been an element of Udi Subudi since day one.

Drummer and vocalist Mark Pierret had played first with Lennartz and then Crowell in a few now-defunct bands. Two years ago, Pierret got Lennartz and Crowell together and the trio realized they had a common approach to making music - so why not make it together? They sat down and started writing. And writing.

"We could have kept writing and writing, but we said what the hell, let's record an album," says Crowell.

The trio - still missing a bass player - set up shop in Pierret's basement and recorded a dozen songs that became their self-released debut, "Hold That Thought."

The album was a year old before the band finally settled on a bassist, Burlington native David Wright. Only then, their lineup complete, did they start playing out.

Despite the band's relative newness, gigs came easily, including a spot at this year's Summerfest and another show that was broadcast live on WLUM-FM.

The band also received a publicity boost from posting their songs in the downloadable MP3 format at www.mp3.com, where their single, "Walking on the Ceiling," made the Top 50 - not bad, considering there were more than 6,000 other songs trying to chart.

As prolific as they are polished, Lennartz and his bandmates have already written a few dozen new songs with several more in various stages of development.

Four or five of those tunes, including the rollicking "Fray," will wind up on an EP the band plans to release by the end of the year. They've already enlisted the help of Milwaukee recording whiz Gary Tanin, who produced "A Good Day to Die," the debut album of the Sammy Llanas-fronted group Absinthe.

"We've been together two years and it's only getting stronger," says Lennartz. "A lot of bands out there don't hold up that long. We have, because we write for ourselves, and that's what's most important to us."

102.1 FM, WLUM - Milwaukee, WI

"Udi Subudi’s ‘Hold That Thought’ was a major surprise; being not all that familiar with this new Milwaukee band, I was amazed at the strength of the music this group puts out. It’s power pop at it’s finest, excellent riffs, smooth melodies, and just great rock ‘n’ roll songs. I encourage you to check out their debut album."