With a name inspired by a line in the Arcade Fire song Wake Up (“We’re just a million little gods causing rainstorms/ turning every good thing to rust”) Million Little Gods aren’t afraid to wear their influences on their sleeve, both in their name and in their sound.
Their self-titled debut EP has plenty of the hallmarks of a rising indie rock band. It is a vibrant journey through neat melodies and unconventional rhythms, all within a very formulaic structure. Not that this is a bad thing. What the EP lacks in sheer, startling originality it makes up for with a kind of lingering allure that becomes increasingly evident with repeat listens.
The first two tracks on the EP, Mammoth and Need a Little, float calmly along, giving a melancholic dreamlike atmosphere to the EP. Million Little Gods give their focus to little moments rather than big ones, and sometimes this works wonders. This is most evident in the many clever little rhyming twists in the lyrics, like the lines “the taste/ is all but gone/ why waste/ time moving on” on Puma.
These inconspicuous moments of merit provide a slow burning reward rather than an immediate gratification, but with a bit of digging it is possible to discover plenty of layers buried within this EP. However this takes patience, as the numerous places where Million Little Gods fail to distinguish themselves from countless other contemporary indie/alternative bands tend to obscure the moments when they come into their own.
Most of the EP feels like it is building up to something, but Million Little Gods don’t do enough building for that payoff to be anything significant. Instead the EP fades out without delivering a final punch. Of course there is still plenty of depth to be found by going back for another listen, but the problem is that this just isn’t the type of music that immediately begs to be heard again.