Mega Gem
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Mega Gem

Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Denver, Colorado, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Indie




"Mega Gem"

Mega Gem likes to draw you in real close with a soft rhythm, then scissor kick your consciousness with heavy riffs at key, inspiring moments and then throw you a pulsating shock with their playful, yet profound lyrics that will resonate for days. Like a band of hopeful underdogs, the members of Mega Gem have acquired noble individual skills and then combined them, and then contributed to a greater whole. Which if you were wondering, makes for a kick ass live show, kicking so much ass in fact, that it leaves even the cool kids in the back, sitting on their hands, frivolous for more. - Denver Public Library: Volume Project

"The Marquee’s 10 Best Local Releases of 2012"

Denver’s orchestral pop collective Mega Gem follow in the footsteps of bands like Arcade Fire and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with über-happy and sonically massive sing-alongs and cathartic scream-alongs. It’s the happiest album of the year. - Marquee Magazine

"Mega Gem: Colors of the West (2012)"

...Oliver Ceelen is not a beautiful singer; he will not be America’s next Idol. Thank God. He is a great punk rock singer; his voice is good, not great, but it is very tonally appropriate for the music Mega Gem is creating and works really well within that context. You don’t have to be able to sing opera to sing a punk rock song… hell, you don’t even really have to be able to SING. Look at Tim Armstrong and the earlier (well, all) albums of Rancid (not to say he’s a great singer now, but years of practice have made him a bit better at his craft). Ceelen can sing, and his tone (and more so, his energy) is perfect for what CotW is going for. He is obviously the glue that holds the mish mash of people and players together... - Ryan's Reviews

"Mega Gem “Colors of the West”"

5 out of 5 stars
“Take two listens and call me in the morning.”
Colors of the West is the most intoxicatingly happy album of 2012, so much so that I wonder how long it will take for psychotherapists worldwide to begin prescribing Mega Gem’s album to the depressed masses.

The Denver-based orchestral pop group follows in the footsteps of bands like Arcade Fire and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, both sonically and in size. The group’s core lineup fluctuates between seven and 10 musicians, but some live shows have featured close to two dozen musicians on stage, embracing the band’s philosophy of ‘the more the merrier.’ The album features more than 30 guest appearances, alone!

Colors Of The West is Mega Gem’s first full-length album, and the 12 songs range from elaborate post-rock anthematic sing-alongs — like Sigúr Rös on massive amounts of Prozac — to one song “Mia’s Sing-along” led by the five-year-old Mia.

Mega Gem – Mia’s Sing-Along – Stop Motion Animation from Wild Baby Records on Vimeo.

Mega Gem seems fascinated by happy musical accidents, but the album is far from a highlight reel of mistakes. Instead, it shows the wonderment and beauty of a group of people overflowing with creativity, sharing in a musical experiment, and equally enjoying every step in the process — the quiet poetry as much as the bombastic catharsis.

It’s good to know with winter coming on that this collection of optimism is only a few clicks away in our iTunes. - Marquee Magazine

"Mega Gem - Colors of the West"

...In fact, there's as much fun and almost-boozy good fellowship in the MGs as in a good jug band. As the group's Bandcamp page says they like to party, and sure as hell they'd be a-lotta-fun bunch to down beers and bourbon with in a park somewhere away from the noise and bugtussle of a big city, an orchestral good times rock unit of brainiac nerds tickling the funny bone as they craft up an often eye-widening level of sophistication that sneaks up behind you and starts chuckling…though the simple songs like Mia's Sing-Along are just as delightfully surprising. I don't usually like good times music, doom and gloom are more my baseline, but this stuff is highly unusual and as infectious as a giggle-flu leavened with industrial strength eye-sparkle and grinning hop-leap. Don't take my word for it, listen. And if you find yourself dancing in the forest half-naked, don't blame me 'cause I'll be up in the trees, bouncing from branch to branch with the squirrels. And, man, this ensemble would be a trip and a half to see live in concert. - FAME Review

"Mega Gem: Colors of the West"

Mega Gem is a band from Denver, Colorado they’re an orchestral punk band that bring to mind bands like the Taxpayers with vocals that sometimes sound like John K. Samson. It’s really a great combination. This album is front to back solid with some real standout songs like ‘The Right Thing to Do’. There’s also ‘Merry Go Round’ which sounds a bit different from most of the album but it’s really an incredible song. It’s pretty clear that this band has a lot of talent and chances are you’re going to be hearing their name a lot soon. If you dig punk bands that bring in a lot of sounds and mix them into their own Mega Gem is definitely a band that you need to check out. - Uncle Critic

"“Onions” from Colors of the West"

Mega Gem are almost extraordinarily insufferable what with their manic panicked pixie collective dreams of internal rainbows so bright they just about burst straight from the mouths of babes and echo off into forever on the impish glint of mile high smiles and then sow the seeds of friendship so…yeah, okay. Maybe they are insufferable but I don’t care, man. At least, I don’t care today because today Mega Gem’s bawdy blend of big band (there are anywhere, at any time, between seven and twenty of them) pop orchestration, Our Gang hoots and hollers, twee tenor scraggle wail and…wait…is that, actually, a little girl singing at the end? Jesus Christ, Mega Gem. You aren’t making this easy. I want to join you so bad in the void you fill between the moment Los Campesinos lost us in their dark turn to true feelings and whatever the fuck it is that Broken Social Scene did right half the time (was it Feist?) but the twee cultishness of your celebration plucks so many cynical strings in me that I just…can’t…stop…LISTENING TO THIS SONG! AAAAUUUGGGHH!! I AM THE EGG MAN! I AM THE ONION! I AM THE FOREVER FUN! - Dealer’s Choice

"Colors of the West"

Oh, you pop-rock collectives you! You and your shifting line-ups and crowded stages, your jam-packed liner credits and endless thank-you notes, your wall-o-sound flourishes and full-to-bursting, quasi-orchestral arrangements. Too many cooks? Pishposh! There’s no such thing!

Glib though that may sound, it must be said that I am, myself, an advocate of the musical collective. Sure, smaller outfits may be easier to get into—there is much to be said for the minimalist approach of a guitar/drum duo or a standard-issue guitar/bass/drum power-trio—but there’s no beating a larger band when it comes to on-album variety and in-song dynamism.

Just so: Mega Gem.

A self-styled “quirk pop” collective from Denver, Colorado, Mega Gem blends freewheeling folk-punk with the soft touch of chamber pop. Building off a power-pop base of overdriven electric riffs, rumbling four-string, and propulsive drums, Mega Gem elevates and expands upon their already approachable sound with layer after energetic layer of strings, brass, winds, keys, gang vocals, and sundry musical whatall. Good times? Good times.

Lead by vocalist-guitarist Oliver Ceelen, Mega Gem’s core nonet expanded its ranks to a grand total of thirty-three for the band’s debut full-length, Colors of the West. As such, there’s a “the more, the merrier” approach to many of the album’s punk-infused orchestral compositions, an “excess in the pursuit of rock-and-roll is no vice” worldview that gives rise to infectiously chaotic tunes which are frequently as daunting as they are engaging. Busy busy busy, but in a remarkably arresting way.

Lyrically, Mega Gem hews close to the artfully vented spleen and anxious narrative fretting of Jared Mees, David Monks, and Jeffs Mangum and Rosenstock, all quick-rhyming couplets, stream-of-consciousness rambles, and cathartic shout-along choruses. Their songs swell and ebb, build up and break down. They long for new places in one breath and yearn for home in the next. They pick at old wounds and hold tight to lingering ghosts even as they attempt to salve and to exorcise them with blazing guitar riffs, blaring trumpets, and full-band tra-la-la-las, the whole jumbled mess of raw and mixed emotions tangled up in triumphant power chords and full-throated, hopelessly romantic vignettes.

Notwithstanding the occasional digression into super-saccharine twee—sure, parents can be punks (and vice versa), and wide-eyed optimism is fine in small doses, but “Mia’s Sing-Along” and the official video for “Don’t Call Me Romantic” (as seen below) both verge on Kidz Bop-level schmaltz, and can be a bit much for the unsuspecting listener to handle—Mega Gem’s Colors of the West is a grand debut from a pop-rock ensemble with creative energies (and bonus collaborators) to spare. Great for a first time out, even better as a prelude to what comes next. - \fȯr 'tē 'dät\

"mp3: Mega Gem // Colors of the West"

“the more, the merrier.”(人数が多ければ多いほど楽しい)という哲学を掲げる大所帯バンドMega Gemの12曲入りアルバム「Colors of the West」がname your priceで公開中です。

Mega Gemはアメリカのロッキー山脈の麓の街デンバーの音楽家が集まったバンドです。バンドの中心メンバーが7~10人いますが、ライブとなるとなんと20人以上のメンバーがステージに立ちMega Gemの一員として音を奏でます。また音楽家としてMega Gemの音を奏でることに年齢性別は関係ありません。お兄さん、お姉さん、小さな女の子でも自分の表現できるパートがあればOK!!サックス、チェロ、フルート、バンジョー、ハンドベルなどなどMega Gemの曲を構成する楽器は様々で個性豊か!そして歌パートもみんなで合唱するところがハッピーな雰囲気ですね。

なによりMega Gemの曲から「音楽って楽しい」というメッセージを僕は感じました。 - hihiwhoopee



Founded in 2010 Mega Gem is a Quirk Pop band from Denver, CO. Mega Gem's debut album, Colors of the West, is a thickly layered orchestral punk album. Featuring 34 musicians including Stelth Ulvang of the Lumineers. Mega Gem is currently recording their sophomore album, which will feature only the 7 permenent members of the band.

Band Members