A few days ago I heard a the debut release from Man Called War, a duo based out of Austin, TX. I was going back and forth trying to decide if I should write about it, as I tend to avoid most records so overtly religious. However, the songs work regardless of content, and I actually like them quite a bit. Rob Kelly and Maggie Foy have teamed up to create a quiet, meditative record not unlike the one put out by Band Of Horses guitarist Tyler Ramsey a couple years ago.
What really struck me is the building tension of the 7 minute “Gloucester, MA.” For the first five minutes of the song it’s a very soft, nondescript man-with-a-guitar type tune, and that’s fine. But then out of nowhere Kelly’s voice booms and it’s like you’re in the middle of Arcade Fire’s Funeral album. Kelly’s tone walks the line between nasally Jeff Mangum screams and the talk/sing of Conor Oberst through the verse and finds a perfect balance between the two. He also delivers a familiar voice in the words themselves-with these lines feeling like they could’ve been written for Letting Off The Happiness “And I keep asking myself, of all the people I’ve loved, how many have I already seen for the very last time? I guess I’ll learn to know, it’s ok to talk to ghosts,
cause they’re filling up the strange darkness on the outskirts of this strange town.”
I’ll be interested to see what they do next. Will they fill out these songs and release it as a non-demo EP or is this the jumping off point for a full-length? I suppose time will tell. For now, you can download The Eastern Seaboard Demo EP on their bandcamp page for free.