Raging Nathans / Mikey Erg Band - Gauntlet of Knives [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Raging Nathans / Mikey Erg Band

Gauntlet of Knives [EP] (2023)

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Gauntlet of Knives is a compact little EP split between Raging Nathans and the Mikey Erg band. Raging Nathans were obviously raised on ‘90s punk as they make melody the backbone of their rampage. The band plays fast and loose, but at the core is an adherence to pop sensibility. Their first slab, “Spring Cleaning,” walks that interesting line between ‘90s alt-rock mega cuts ala Third Eye Blind and early 2000s pop-punk. The band is not afraid to sound huge and they hit their marks. “Mediochrist” is a bit more edgy. The band uses a skate punk charge and bust out a 90 second snapper that sounds as much like a gang chant as it does a tune. It might have a dark edge, but the sounds is vibrant and fun.

The flip finds the full three-piece Mikey Erg band cutting three tracks. In something iof match to the RNs, TMEB also nod back to ‘90s rock, though TMEB leans more towards Garbage and Foo Fighters. That is to say, the group can cut MASSIVE hooks. The refrain alone on “Why was I programmed to feel pain” would have sold 3.7 million units in 1995. But, the Mike side isn’t just throw back- though the group does incorporate their love of ‘70s powerpop, including in the cover of Tom Petty’s “Ypou Wreck Me.” Interestingly that as lauded as Petty is for his songcraft, it fits in right beside, not above, the rest of the MEB tracks…

The cover of the LP was created by none of the than Robert Pollard which gives the whole release a bit more size. If you dig either of these bands, the release is recommended, and you’ll also like the flipside, to boot.