Thursday, June 16, 2016

Listen: Mainland, Foresteater and Bronco Simmons

Its hot as f*** here and I'm suffering through the doldrums of a pan full of stuffed peppers. At least I've got these to cheer me up:

The message is pretty clear in Mainland's latest single "Beggars," don't stop and don't give up. This idea of pushing through and not quitting came to lead singer Jordan Topf during his late night rides on the NYC subway. In an interview with Speakeasy, Jordan described his thought process a bit more in depth. "I was just looking at all of the people on the subway and thinking about how I fit into all of that. I wanted to sing to people that are maybe doubting their dreams.” "Beggars" is the first track to be released from Mainland's debut full length, Night Trials. The album is "a journey through life’s fun and melancholy moments - the ones that you’d probably like to forget, but never will; they are your purgatory. They are all the beautiful places you’ve been, all the strange places you are bound to end up, and everywhere in between." In essence, it is a pan of stuffed peppers.

Back in 2015, Mikey Pro had a dream about "a band playing on an island in outer-space with electric rainbows everywhere." This dream inspired him to take on a project he called Foresteater. It is a project of "melodramatic songs with psychedelic harmonies under catchy melodies." Most of the tracks on Foresteater's debut EP were written in the Orcas Island in San Juan (about as close to an island in outer-space that you can get on Earth). Mikey's secret to writing a good song? Staying up really late. The later he stays up, the more inspired he feels. Sometimes he can't quite finish off a song until he is so far out of it that he starts seeing rainbows and islands and outer space. I say, whatever makes kissing that machine go down easier.

My relationship with garage rock band Bronco Simmons can best be described as being like that lady who has gained a few pounds but doesn't want to admit it so she keeps going back to her previous size of clothing even though she knows it will lead nowhere. That is to say that I kept trying Bronco Simmons on over and over again and was less than awed. I tried their first single "Away She Goes." It was fine, just didn't really grab me. Then came "Heavy Chandeliers" and "Younger Days." Slightly different sound, very different lyrics, same result. You'd think I'd just embrace my weight gain and move on to a different size. But I didn't. And when their EP hit my inbox I gave it a listen. I still found myself not enamored with those first three singles. But I also discovered that I did like the fourth track on the album, "Feed Me to the Wolves." It is the most punk rock of the five tracks (a little ode to my youth). I liked the energy of the track, much of it created by the blistering guitars and clanging symbols, I liked the upward progression of chords right before the chorus took over and I liked the way that lead singer Jorge Hinojosa delivered the lyrics. It was immediately catchy, the kind of song that you can't put down no matter where you are or what is going on around you. I mean, I'm currently listening to it in my Thursday afternoon Bible study group. *Yes preacher man, I'm completely invested in what you are saying.* If a track is good enough to invade my Bible study time, it certainly should work for baking some stuffed peppers.