The Racer, an indie rock quintet out of Monroe, NY has movement on the mind. Their brand of rock is influenced by the frequent commutes to NYC, tour van rides and road trips a group of bandmates inevitably experiences. “We usually picture driving to the music we make,” says lead singer Pete Marotta. “Maybe because most people in our area commute over an hour to NYC on a daily basis.” The music this band of friends makes does have a feeling of movement, especially their latest album, Passengers. With this release, out May 14th, The Racer takes the transportation motif to the next level.
The five guys – Pete Marotta: Vocals; Mike Esserman: Guitar; Steve Kondracki: Guitar; Mike Perri: Drums; Eric Sosler: Bass – recently changed their name to reflect a style they’ve been cultivating over the years. Marotta, Esserman and Sosler, who were childhood friends, met back up in college, looking for the next big dream after high school and college basketball. In 2010, the band, then known as Stuedabakerbrown, released their first album, Strangers We’ll Become. Then in 2012, they changed their name to go along with their impressive new concept album, Passengers.
Passengers is tied together by an idea that colored not only the songs recorded for it, but the whole process of writing and producing it. The album begins with a fictional collision involving all of the band members. Each of the tracks is a reflection on life just before the moment of death. The album is dark, but not necessarily morbid. The songs represent the most important memories, feelings and events that would be brought to mind if the band was facing death. With a dynamic range to match the emotional ups and downs, Passengers packs a powerful punch. Heavy hitting guitars match up well with piano and Marotta’s vulnerable vocals for an anthemic rock album that begs to be played over and over again.
The Racer is also travelling upward. They’ve had numerous placements on TV shows such as MTV’s Jersey Shore, The Real World: New Orleans, and The Challenge to name just a few, and availability of the single “Couch Sitting Rattlesnake” on the hit video game Rock Band 3. They’ve also scored spots at Austin, TX’s Red Gorilla Music Fest, Milwaukee, WI’s Summerfest, and opening slots for headliners such as Say Anything, Matt and Kim, and Rusted Root, among others.