At times a bit of an aggressive edge within music is necessary. Depending on external factors, fluffy feel-good music will not always be appropriate, serving to enhance feelings of anger/frustration/etc that may previously have been held rather than relieving them. This past Friday, for the third, very recent time, the furnace in my basement ceased to work. That’s a story for another time, and a complaint for a different site about the ineptitude of a certain local company who has ‘fixed’ it multiple times. Regardless, the situation did not foster feelings of warmth and generosity to those who had left my two small children without heat and refused to return the phone calls made informing them as such. And as much as I love a certain chamber pop artist I’ve been listening to a great deal lately, their dulcet tones just weren’t cutting it with making me feel better and/or channeling my frustrations. On single “Bronx Sniper,” Mister Heavenly filled that aggro need.
The song has been floating around for a bit, though remains topical due to the recent release of its accompanying video. If their sound is recognizable, then they likely are intimately familiar due to the parts that make up the band. A super group of sorts, the band consists of former members of Modest Mouse, Islands/The Unicorns, and Man Man. Islands frontman Nick Thorburn, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, and Ryan Kattner (Honus Honus) of Man Man, joined for this project after many previous tours together and meet cutes.
The side project incorporates elements from each individual’s original entities: doo-woppy ditties heavy on percussion from Man Man and Modest Mouse, plus earnest indie-pop from Islands and Thorburn’s previous outfit, The Unicorns. Affectionately labeled doom-wop, the band has an aggressive sound at times, to mesh with the aforementioned doom-wop label proving apt on tracks like “Pineapple Girl.” I am reminded mostly of Man Man, but Thorburn’s sensibilities are mingled in as well. As for the video above, the aggressive tendencies are manifested more bombastically than imaginable.