The XYZ Affair first gained attention via YouTube, where the music video for “All My Friends” -- a nostalgic combination of Nickelodeon alumni and attractive co-eds -- generated a heap of viral buzz. Such success was at least partially generated by Marc Summers, who played the video’s antagonist and doused the band in slime during the final chorus. Nevertheless, it was hard to overlook the fact that “All My Friends” was actually a solid song, with vocal harmonies and arena rock guitars that evoked the same retro appeal as the accompanying video. The remainder of XYZ Affair’s debut, A Few More Published Studies, was similarly strong. Songs like “Little Fool” and “Ideals” packed their poppy punch without the aid of a viral hit, and the falsetto-friendly Alex Feder gleefully pitched his melodies up and down the treble clef, often leaping into areas unvisited by less adventurous singers. Internet sensations are almost always a dime a dozen, but the XYZ Affair actually had the goods to back up the hype, making A Few More Published Studies a success story regardless of the band’s YouTube traffic.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey