Pittsburgh hip-hop/rock group Normal Creatures isn't all that normal. It's a genre-bending band previously known as Sikes and The New Violence, who on Sat., Sept. 19, announced its name change as a way to reflect the unity they have as a band, rather than just a frontman and some instrumentalists. This sense of togetherness is channeled in their latest single, "A Temporary Feel."
Goodbye Sikes and The New Violence. Hello Normal Creatures. One of the most important things that a band needs to do...Posted by Normal Creatures on Saturday, September 19, 2020
Through the band’s strong instrumentals by guitarist Evan Thorsen and bassist Justin Campbell, the song brings together an array of different genres and sounds.
"A Temporary Feel" is an intriguing combination of punk, jazz, and hip hop, which one might not normally hear together. It features jazzy bass and guitar riffs in the chorus, but highlights metal solos in between verses. One thing that sticks out is the high pitched repetitive guitar melodies; it sounds like something off an indie album but somehow works along with the rap that is laid on top of it all.
While a good portion of the song is rapped by frontman, Brian Sikes Howe, there are also harmonies and chorus vocals from Mandy Montgomery, which add an angelic touch to the song. Howe and Montgomery’s vocals combine two opposite ends of a spectrum with mellow, legato singing from Montgomery and crisp diction in Howe’s rapping.
The lyrics follow an 'opposites attract' theme. The song focuses on trying to find a reason to feel something in a world you’re unhappy with. It measures the happiness in the world against the sad with lyrics like, “We’re just living for the toy in the happy meal / Yeah we’ll swallow all the garbage for a temporary feel.”
Normal Creatures is definitely a band to listen to if you want something different. It’s almost impossible to compare the band to another because of the unique style they carry. "A Temporary Feel" would be a good introduction for anyone who loves rock music, but wants to give hip hop a try. The song still sounds like a pop-rock hit, but has little Easter eggs of rap, hip hop, and jazz throughout.