This is a project comprised of Brooklyn solo artist Angel Ocana and Philadelphia band, Disco Machine Gun, front man Michael Roberts. Their combined talents lead to this interesting six-song ep. They play with mostly modern forms here. Indie Rock is the starting point, although there is that sharper modern edge to it, with quirky quieter moments alternating with the more rocking passages. I hear a little bit of Adam Franklin's quiet psychedelic tinged music influencing the first cut. But things get a little more mystifying in mostly a good way thereafter. There is a distinct shoegaze feel with good steady shimmering backing sometimes leading to a more driving variation. The singing is quite good and is the fulcrum to the songs. The sound quality is nice throughout with enough guitar dynamics to interest a diverse amount of listeners, provided they have at least one adventurous bone in their body.
Songs to try out...
November - Powerful lush pop-rock shoegaze song. So easy to grab on to, it could qualify for a hit single if it got the break-out. I will play this over and over.
When the Leaves Turn Over - Sebadoh meets Fugazi style rock.
Petrichor - A little more of the Adam Franklin (Swervedriver) style.
Mittenfields "The Fresh Sum ep"
I don't feel any conflicting emotions going on in my head when I try to figure out what category to place this in. It is shoegaze and then some. But every label requires more detail... The opener, "Mixed Signals" roars away with waves of guitar sound. Intense, emotional, loud... all the good things that good shoegaze music provides are present here. It was also nice to see some varied tempos and volumes along with some instrumental twists as the five-song ep continued. I particularly liked the wah-wah guitar sneaking its way into the mix on "My Mind is an Avalanche". It mixes in with quiet moments before making way for a nice wild ride toward the finish. This was my favorite of this short set. For better or worse, the ep started to settle in a little too comfortably for a bit until the "bonus cut" "Swim in a Tight Parallel" brought it back up a notch. Most any shoegaze fan or loud rock music lover will enjoy this release. There are examples of excellent songwriting here and even the lesser material sounds like it would be a kick in the brain on stage.
And that theory can be tested out on Monday, August 8th at the Black Cat where Mittenfields will play with two other bands for the a measly eight dollars. I will be there, so should you.