It's good to be free. Nathan Photos, Mike Rana and Matt Grady felt shackled by their previous band, Igby, but since setting that project aside and founding The Town Monster last year, they've been basking in a creative glow that yielded one of the most spastic, mercurial sounds in Columbus.
It's good to be free.
Nathan Photos, Mike Rana and Matt Grady felt shackled by their previous band, Igby, but since setting that project aside and founding The Town Monster last year, they've been basking in a creative glow that yielded one of the most spastic, mercurial sounds in Columbus.
Their sonic smorgasbord is served up in full on "Autumn People," the debut album to be released Friday with a show at Circus.
It's music for maniacs - a compendium of off-kilter piano rock, seething synth-pop, radio-ready garage rock, gnarly alt guitar throwbacks and the countless other shards of musical shrapnel that struck these guys over the years.
"We're not trying to pigeonhole a particular sound," Photos said.
If "Autumn People" lacks a cohesive genre, it's unified by Photos' deranged yelps - think White Stripes meets Wolf Parade meets Mindless Self Indulgence - and a spirit of tension finding release. This is a different sort of "Revenge of the Nerds," not for the pocket-protector set but the passionate freaks with the funny haircuts.
A big part of the band's appeal is Photos' frequent reliance on keyboards and computers over the standard electric guitar approach.
"You can get these really filthy sounds with the keyboard," Photos said.
Reliance on technology is a double-edged sword, though.
"A computer can really freak out on you. I guess that's rock 'n' roll," the singer said. Still, "computers can really be helpful. You just have to make it your bitch."
They'll try to do just that at Friday's show, which will also feature backdrop animation by the band - "more of a spectacle and a multimedia performance," Photos explained.
The Town Monster is in the midst of a prolific streak, and that's not even including Photos' other projects, including the electro-pop solo act The Bomb Tasty Yum-Yums, riff-heavy rock group The Guitars and Harry Potter-inspired "wizard rock" project The Swording Hat.
Since completing "Autumn People" late last year at Hilliard's Electraplay Studios, they've taken to basements, hallways and warehouses to record a series of monthly EPs. Each release is streaming at the group's Bandcamp page, exhibiting more shades of the extremely colorful ensemble.
The band plans to keep up the rigorous release schedule, though they wouldn't hesitate to suspend the project in favor of, say, a world tour.
"It would be nice," Grady said, "if we had something come up where we couldn't finish."
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