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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, "Didnít I hear this song before?" Although the album still plays, youíre 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 youíve 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. Theyíve 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 youíll 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. Iím already impressed with the production and itís 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 youíre looking for an assortment of song styles, look no further. 

The album continues on with the song entitled "Grow". The band sheds the shell theyíve already created with the first song and goes for a very straightforward, modern rocker featuring lush guitar work and a powerful chorus. Iím 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. "Itís 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 chorusís. The song "Lazy" contains these elements beginning with a dark verse and presenting a catchy chorus with lyrics such as "Iím so lazy, she canít 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 Ďem 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 "Itís Alright, Weíll Be Fine". 

A slow, acoustic based number, "Itís Alright, Weíll 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., Iíve heard enough bulls*** today" and "We break down, sometimes, itís all in our mind". Anyone can relate to the song, the band has really just put themselves in mind of the listener with "Itís Alright, Weíll 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 canít 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.

Man On Earth - Disposable Sounds For The Fickle Mind
Label: Forward Thinking Music
Rating: 
 
Tracks:
New Life
The Great Discontent
Grow
It's All Been a Dream
Come in Closer
Lazy
Mirror
Lackluster
It's Alright, We'll Be Fine
Anywhere but Here
Taking Closure

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