Man-Made Objects’ shoegaze and psych tunes rely heavily on songcraft, relegating reverb to an effect on guitar and vocals instead of the featured element. As a result, the band calls to mind a less noisy Stardeath and the White Dwarfs or a darker Flaming Lips.
The songs are catchy, but that’s a bonus; the most memorable aspect of the “EP” is its consistent ethereal mood. Even when the band beefs up the beat and increases the tempo on “Tricia with Color Bars,” the sound is maintained.
Because “song” is so important, the instrumentation isn’t gaudy or ostentatious.
“Black-Green” opens the set with dark guitar work, heavily modified vocals and simple drumming. The bass work, while not often overtly featured, grounds the sound in a very satisfying way.
“EP” was recorded at Bell Labs with Trent Bell, and his expert hand allows the recording studio to get out of the way of the songs. The immediate and arresting “Dying Storms” proves this; it feels as if Man-Made Objects are in the room when it’s played (other than the distant vocals). “Happiness Is a Pyroclastic Flow” is another excellent cut, featuring a great vocal line and a vintage ’70s guitar lick.
The five-track disc is an excellently written, beautifully recorded set of dark, psychedelic and shoegaze tunes. —Stephen Carradini