Man Made Sun - More a Devil Than a God EP
Ray Van Horn, Jr.
Israeli born, New York-planted Man Made Sun is cultivating a modest audience using a grass roots (whatever constitutes for grass roots in the digital age) reachout and frankly, what they've been tooling with as a band defies category to this point. Proto pump metal? Gutter alternative? Psych crunk?
Yeah, all of those and none of them, if you take the inference. On their nicely constructed debut EP More a Devil Than a God, Man Made Sun would first have you believe they're aiming towards a pop metal audience with the hook-filled "God Vs. God" and "Belief." Then they change gears altogether on "Signal," which merges grunge rock and electro punk, i.e. early Soundgarden and Pearl Jam with The Prodigy, of all concoctions.
On "Three Things," there's more of a punk base in the fuzzy drawl of Fugazi that's given a bit of a subliminal hip hop groove without drifting towards actual rap. If anything, vocalist Ofer Tiberin (former guitarist of Emok) slithers and slinks his notes and words, accentuating instead of punctuating. Even when he huffs out a pseudo rap attack amidst the crunchy street riffs on "God Vs. God," there's more of a restrained open mike essence instead of flat-out slam to his delivery.
The coolest number on the EP, "Waiting for the Sun," throws a few curveballs, tricking the listener into thinking Man Made Sun is going straight for a neo-gangsta rap groove before jacking the track with shrilling guitar lines and synthetic Middle Eastern whispers as interpreted through electro channels. Tiberin weaves a pretty tasty splice of Cake's John McCrea and Damon Albarn on this song's verses while wailing like he's just getting its pipes loosened on the choruses.
If there's any glaring shortfall to More a Devil Than a God, it's a slight bit of hesitation from the band instead of pulling their triggers. There's so much going in these tracks and evidence of Man Made Sun trying to hedge an actual voice for themselves, more attention is given to the execution and homogenous mixing of their parts instead of letting their creative mojo leap free. You can sense a tiger's soul lingering within this collective hiding in the proverbial brush and waiting for the right delta to spring forward into, claws and incisors bared at the ready.
Still, Man Made Sun are onto something. Once that something is constituted as creed within their band, look the hell out.