Man On Earth - Disposable
Sounds For The Fickle Mind
by Chris Stum
At first listen many bands will set off
alarms in your head like "Oh no, here we go with another band that sounds
like...." or, "Didn’t I hear this song before?" Although the album still
plays, you’re already subconsciously immune to the music. Once in awhile
you might listen closer for a cool guitar riff or catchy melody line that
sparks your interest, only to have that tidbit of information quickly fade
away behind what you’ve already branded as "Sold Out Commercial Rock".
Believe it or not, there are bands that
do go against this theory, Man On Earth is one of those. Steven Nathan
(Vocals, guitar, piano), Ron Ferrante (guitar), Myles Ouziel (bass), and
Alex Giacari (Drums) have been the nucleus of Man On Earth since 2002.
They’ve put their efforts together to create the debut album entitled "Disposable
Sounds For The Fickle Mind". The work teeters on a strong helping of alternative
rock, catchy vocal melodies and a wide variety of musical styles to keep
you coming back for more. Add the talents of Ken Lewis (Lenny Kravitz,
Beastie Boys, Soul Asylum) who mixed the album and we are left with a very
strong collection of songs that are not only interesting but sound great.
The first thing you’ll notice about Man
On Earth is the vocal styles of frontman Steven Nathan weaving in and out
of the music rhythmically while sounding a bit like Faith No More singer
Mike Patton. The lead off song on the album is entitled "The Great Discontent".
Not only do the vocal phrasings of Nathan sound similar to the Faith No
More frontman but the music is also easily comparable to the band. I’m
already impressed with the production and it’s obvious that "The Great
Discontent" was the best song to open the album boasting loud guitars and
capturing every ounce of emotion put into the vocal performance. If you’re
looking for an assortment of song styles, look no further.
The album continues on with the song entitled
"Grow". The band sheds the shell they’ve already created with the first
song and goes for a very straightforward, modern rocker featuring lush
guitar work and a powerful chorus. I’m starting to see the talents and
different voices of frontman Stephen Nathan. As the song styles change,
Nathan follows right along adapting his vocals to what the song needs.
"It’s All Been A Dream" is a prime example of this, a slower song with
hints of Soul Asylum but Nathan fits the bill altering his vocals and lyrics
to work with the song and not against it.
The vibe that Man On Earth has created
is somewhat of a dark, mysterious feel with bright chorus’s. The song "Lazy"
contains these elements beginning with a dark verse and presenting a catchy
chorus with lyrics such as "I’m so lazy, she can’t save me." A theme that
is displayed in "Lazy" and many other songs on the album is the great guitar
work by Nathan and Ferrante identifying the dark/bright element in their
music. Many times throughout the album the guitars provide the perfect
backdrop behind the vocals with both guitars doing something completely
different. If you have two guitar players in the band, you might as well
use ‘em and Man On Earth does an excellent job of providing dynamic and
soft passages with the guitars.
Another straightforward rocker, "Lackluster"
is one of the strongest songs on the album. We find the band going off
on a more rock/pop direction on "Lackluster" which is comparable to such
bands as Radford or Stir. The real treat on the album is a song called
"It’s Alright, We’ll Be Fine".
A slow, acoustic based number, "It’s Alright,
We’ll Be Fine" is by far the standout with heartfelt lyrics and a variety
of sounds to get the emotional point across. The song also features piano
and strings creating a backdrop behind lyric lines like "Turn off the T.V.,
I’ve heard enough bulls*** today" and "We break down, sometimes, it’s all
in our mind". Anyone can relate to the song, the band has really just put
themselves in mind of the listener with "It’s Alright, We’ll Be Fine".
Featuring a wide variety of musical styles,
Man On Earth has created a debut album which offers something for everyone.
With their excellent dynamics and a great lead singer in Stephen Nathan,
you just can’t go wrong with this record. Fusing different flavors into
one sound is often unheard of, but the band shows they have the talent
and songwriting skills to keep their music interesting and in the ears
of the listener. Check out Man On Earth and see for yourself.
On Earth - Disposable Sounds For The Fickle Mind
The Great Discontent
It's All Been a Dream
Come in Closer
It's Alright, We'll Be Fine
Anywhere but Here
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