Written by Frank McClure, posted by blog admin
Taking their sound to the next level, Chicago’s Man Called Noon add new members and unique directions to their latest EP, Everybody Move. Heightening their attention to melody and meticulous vocal arrangements the band explore fresh ground and further their experimental sonic approach on the three tracks all told here. While the feelings communicated on the album are good natured, fun and positive they never dip into the realm of cheese and because the instrumentation flat out rocks Man Called Noon manage to transcend the bad karma that sometimes comes with getting labelled as “pop” or “indie rock.”
The band works up a noteworthy sonic sweat across the title track’s frolicking 4+ minutes of engaging happy go lucky rock music. Swift, agile drumming pumps plenty of life into the winding guitar riffs as melodic vocal crescendos spire upwards. Anthony Giamichael’s skyward pitched vocals are coupled to the diamond sharp harmonies of back-up singer Erin Piortrowski. It’s almost insulting to simply label Erin as a back-up singer and be done with the whole affair; Piortrowski’s honey coated melodies are essential to the musical curveballs that Man Called Noon are throwing into their patented boogie woogie groove. New member Nathan Crone sprinkles piano and 80s-tinged synthesizers into the background and foreground of the song and his addition to the band is quickly making a major impact. These songs are equally built for the established members of the band as much as they are to Crone’s tuneful layering and the increased importance being placed upon vocal harmonization. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is a well-suited companion to the opening number applying a rock n’ roll foundation to swirling keyboard-centered pop music with Crone’s pitch-shifting, low-tuned keyboard melodies jumping into a very prominent position within the song’s framework. Equally important to the synthesizer rumble is the rhythm sections unwavering heartbeat. Bassist Dave Aitken colors in the area around Anthony Giamichael’s rhythm riffs with vibrant, sonically pleasing bass textures while Josh Fontenot lays down a popping, cracking beat that really gives the ear-pleasing poppy choruses a real deal jet fuel jolt. Curtain calling cut “One Last Ride” trades some of the dance-oriented songwriting of the previous two tracks for a four on the floor punk rock bludgeon rife with ripping rhythms, hard-hitting guitar figures and roughhewn vocal belting where Giamichael’s pipes strut some gruffer, greasier melodies. Erin contributes wailing r & b vocal wails and soft harmonies for a push/pull tactic where her varying tones always work to the song’s advantage. The riffs strike with some serious venom and Josh’s bone-breaking percussion slams down on some tribal tom-tom bubbling and full-throttle punk rock timekeeping.
There’s great instrumental variety and fully-formed songwriting all over the three tunes heard on Everybody Move. No matter what direction Man Called Noon take their songs down you are always guaranteed an advanced melodic sensibility and powerful instrumentation that hooks you in from the get up and go. Pop music is rarely this catchy and crunchy in the same breath but Man Called Noon have a mastery over a lost musical art form and it’ll be exciting to see where this new direction in sound will ultimately lead them to.