Every once in a while, there comes a band in the New York DIY scene that wants more. Sometimes, the bedroom rock and punk sounds pervasive in every corner of this city just aren’t enough for some people. Sometimes, bands strive for something greater, something bigger and bolder. The Misters are that band and their latest single, “GSP”, perfectly encapsulates what makes them so different.
The band started in Michael Nitting’s NYU freshman dorm in 2015 where he recorded his first demo. Taking influence from many genres of rock, R & B, soul, and even jazz, the group has gone through various lineup changes with Nitting as the centerpiece and creative head. Now, in 2017, the Misters bathroom demo days are long gone as they enter the studio for their upcoming EP, Complicated People.
The sound of “GSP” alone makes it clear that The Misters aren’t fucking around anymore. Nitting’s voice, which introduces the song along with a lone guitar, is deep and velvety smooth. The guitar under him, along with the second guitar that comes in with the drums at about 1:20, are beautifully exact and clean. The crisp and tight drums, too, cut through the mix at just the right amount to give this 5:00 journey something to hold on to. This song, the production, instrumentation and all, sounds impeccably tight and clean, and almost to a fault. At times, the song treads the Adult Contemporary line but I think Nitting’s voice and the song’s unorthodox structure keep it from going too far in that direction.
As you dive deeper into the song, however, you find it’s filled with complexity and risk-taking. This slow-burning tune weaves together multiple motifs and musical styles to create something truly unique. Nitting’s lyrics, which are largely autobiographical, detail a man escaping the drab towns of New Jersey suburbia by way of the Garden State Highway, “where the road and the sky collide.” During the final build of the song, as the drums, brass, and guitars build the tension to the song’s climax, Nitting sings, “If I go I may never come back.” He’s probably right, too. The Misters aren’t satisfied with where they are and it seems like it’s always been that way. Whether it be the suburbs of Jersey or the New York DIY scene itself, The Misters have always been ready to grow and move on. Unfortunate, I don’t think the GSP will take them everywhere they’ll be going.
Look for their new EP, Complicated People, out March 10th on Invertebrate Records.