If the madman behind King Missile happened to create a brand-new supergroup with Serj Tankian, the resultant mind-fuck would surely resemble what is presented on Man Made Sun’s EP More A Devil Than A God, which thankfully is available to enjoy via Bandcamp in all its glory. “God vs God” and “Belief” open the proceedings with such wild abandon it’s impossible not to be sucked into what this band has to offer. These New Yorkers are sure to make a splash once their music finds a wider audience online. Listen to the entire EP below, and if you dig it, you can support the band by buying it as part of a “name your own price” deal. Trust me, it’s worth the time!
For 110 seconds it’s possible to listen to “Waste Your Time” and imagine you’re hearing the second-coming of They Might Be Giants’ John Flansburgh, as this band does the exact opposite of wasting our time. This is a tasty pop nugget which gets in your head and then blows the doors off the place, insisting you hit repeat and let the earworms take up permanent residence. The remainder of the band’s Boxed Wine EP does a solid job proving the band is capable of being retro-pop chameleons, but they’re hard-pressed to top the first track. “Molly” does show signs of capable Fountains Of Wayne-esque songwriting chops, and the five songs here stick to the “show, don’t tell” model, never overstaying their welcome. Boxed Wine, hailing from New Jersey (“It’s not as bad a place as you think …”) seem well on their way to creating a template for power-pop creation which is likely to make them household names if they play their cards right. Hear them here first!
Alternative Christian fans will have a field day with this four-track EP I stumbled upon on Bandcamp today. Led by Deacon Chad Gardner, the band of some dozen musicians brings strings, horns drums and (best of all) vocals brimming with praise and wonder. “Come Thou Fount” is the standout of the Asaph’s Arrows EP, but the entirety is worth giving serious headphone consideration for its progressive arrangement of the classic hymn. King’s Kaleidoscope, and the Mars Hill Church, have developed a strong focus on praise and worship music which pushes the boundaries of what one might expect from the genre, creating music which demands to be repeated.
For those bands out there making interesting music for audiences too small to have already launched a wider conversation, I present to you: “This One Time On Bandcamp.” This ongoing series, under the header of Artists to Watch, is meant to feature bands you haven’t heard — bands making music in the underground or without the resources to push for wider general exposure. The idea isn’t to say these bands are the greatest you’ll ever hear, or to suggest that every band featured is your next radio superstar in training. The idea is to spark a conversation. If we all are the gatekeepers, it’s time we start digging deeper, rather than simply waiting for a band to sign to a label and hire hot-shot publicists to tell us what we should be talking about.
Case in point: Coasta … a band with an unassuming self-titled EP to their name and little else to hang a hat on. But the music’s particularly ear-catching, despite the lack of forward motion behind their promotion. These Long Island musicians apparently met at Rogue Studios and recorded this effort as part of an impromptu jam session. This is pop-rock with hooks to spare, front-loaded with jangly guitars reminiscent of bands like the Slip, matched with vocals to rival Northern Room, one of the stronger indie pop bands I’ve followed over the years. “Sirens” and “Sunzat” are particularly riveting listens, but the entirety of Coasta EP warrants a stream or ten, once you let these melodies sink their teeth in.
What do you think? Sound off below! And if you have
any suggestions for future “This One Time, On Bandcamp” features,
email me a link to a stream of a single or album. I’m always
interested in discovering new music.