California-based Modern American Theatre is a rock band that has been in the spotlight ever since they placed first in the Rhythm category of the Gods of Indie Guitar contest. Modern American Theatre is a six-piece band that is currently made up of Natalie Diaz on vocals, Justin Bardales and Paul Bethers on guitar, John Reyna on bass, Conner Martin on drums and Chase Werner on keyboards.
Modern American Theatre creates a sound that blends together an extremely jazzy guitar sound with the style of Rock and Roll. With that sound, the only genre the band would fit into would have to be Indie Rock. The reason for the jazzy feel to the band’s sound comes from the combined playing of guitarists Justin Bardales and Paul Bethers. The eerily similar delivery on the guitar by the two musicians helps to create a sound that comes across as a layering effect. And that layering effect is what truly separates the band’s sound from nearly every other group out there today. Taken with Diaz on vocals, Reyna on bass, Werner on keyboards and Martin on drums, their playing styles create a very unique sound that sets the band apart from most of the bands out there today.
The song that won the Rhythm category for the band (and was ultimately included on the Gods of Indie Guitar 2011 CD) was “She’s Like That With Everyone,” a song that is featured on the band’s CD entitled We Could Make A House. The main reason for the song winning the category is because of the unique playing of the band’s guitarists, Justin Bardales and Paul Bethers. Taken with Diaz on vocals, Reyna on bass and Martin on drums, their playing styles create a very unique sound that sets the band apart from most of the bands out there today.
One thing that is very noticeable about Modern American Theatre is that the band has a definite style to their music, so much so that the sixth song (“Put Some Fruit Juice In There”) and the seventh song (“Cumulus Columbus Clouds”) on the album sound almost like one long track with a space in it even though they aren’t. But this consistent feel to the band’s music does make the album move smoothly through the eight tracks, and this consistent feel to the music makes for a strong release.
Another thing that is very apparent is that the titles of the songs on We Could Make A House are complete non-sequiturs, having nothing to do with the lyrics that appear in the songs. Well………. except for “Put Some Fruit Juice In There”. However, the song that contains that title and the song that contains those lyrics (“Out For Blood”) are two completely different tracks on the album.
The unique playing styles of the guitarists, the unusual use of non-sequiturs for song titles, and the creative writing of the band members of Modern American Theatre along with the unique vocal qualities of singer Natalie Diaz all combine to create a very unique listening experience. It is easy to see how the band ended up winning the Rhythm category of the Gods of Indie Guitar contest when listening to this release.
Rarely do you find a band with this type of creativity to their music. Modern American Theatre’s album of We Could Make A House is unique enough to satisfy someone searching for that “something different,” musically speaking. At the same time, the music of Modern American Theatre is approaching enough that even the most hardened fans of commercial radio artists will find much to like in the music of the band.
Modern American Theatre is a very active group. While We Could Make A House is still making noise in the music industry, the band has a new release to speak of. The band’s new album, Your Rage Is Attractive, hit the streets June 14th. First, check out the band’s release of We Could Make A House to get a sense of what everyone is talking about, then check out the new release by Modern American Theatre and see what the band has been up to since they released their last album.