Thursday, 20 December 2012

Manlord - ST (album review)

I've been waiting for a band this good from east of Montreal since Sloan dropped in the 90s.  I'd always heard that there were tons of great bands in the maritime provinces and now I have audible proof.  Manlord is a stoner rock band made up of four individuals who have spent time in so many other bands that the idea of listing them all here is laughably ridiculous.  Needless to say, the maritime rock scene lives and lives heartily in the efforts of these four lads (Jody Perry-guitar, Errol Girvan-bass, Shaun Crawford-guitar, Chris Lewis-drums/vocals).

Manlord's self-titled album is chock full of big ass southern rock riffs and vocals drenched in echo which repeats to infinity.  Example number one: "No Reply".  While not a southern rock riff per se, it's still a bad ass wormy thing that twists its way along with slambang interplay with the drums.  The vocals are absolutely soaked in echo.  It's a technique used by fellow Canuck powerhouse rockers Sons of Otis and a trend that continues throughtout the entirety of the album.  Example number two: "Untitled".  That's what I'm talking about.  Southern  fried riffage and echo smothered vocals.  Manlord prove with this number that they are capable of building songs with continuously increasing excitement.

"Your Armageddon" cross references Corrosion of Conformity style riffing on the verse with Black Sabbath style syncopation during the chorus.  The band explodes into a furious groove on their way out, revealing a knack for just banging off tremendously powerful riffs and just throwing them out there like it was no big thing.  This band is loaded with riffs.  "Left For Dead" continues the trend of the band tossing off tremendous riffs like they are balls of paper and the recording device is a waste paper basket with one of those mini basketball hoops on them.

"Black Rider" is a 'cover' of a song by one of those great east coast bands from the 90s.  The band was called Mood Cadillac and their stuff wasn't widely available at the time so chances are you've never heard of them unless you're from Moncton.  There is a bandcamp page dedicated to getting out stuff from those great Moncton-based bands that had been previously available only locally and then only on tape and Mood Cadillac is one of them.  The page is called Out of Print Moncton and look into Mood Cadillac, including the original "Black Rider" in all of its thumping, grooving glory.  I don't know exactly who is running this page but it is damn cool.  Jody Perry (guitar) and Chris Lewis (drums) were a part of Mood Cadillac so it only seems natural to re-envision one of their songs as a loving tribute.  "A Better Way" is a slow rotisserie southern groove, the longest track on the album, that thumps away in a long instrumental groove-out to the end of the song.  Closer "Back Teeth" is a cover of an Elevator To Hell song for a tribute album.  This was another band I was unfamiliar with, but doing the shallowest bit of research revealed them as another Moncton based band, one of those great fuzzy, psychedelic, quirky Sub Pop bands from the mid to late 90sand the cover version here is done full on Manlord style and it is excellent.

Seven tracks, five originals and two covers, recorded three years earlier (in 2009) and released on Bandcamp just this past Halloween.  I'm not sure where or if this album has seen a previous release but if it has I'm betting it was in Moncton.  Manlord does more than represents their city, they promote their city, they're proud of their musical legacy / heritage and Manlord's music is like the ultimate expression of that heritage.

Highlights include: "A Better Way" and "Your Armageddon"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 45:53

From: Moncton, New Brunswick

Genre: Stoner Rock, Doom, Southern Rock

Reminds me of: Corrosion of Conformity; Sons of Otis

Release Date: October 31, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Barbecue chicken cook out in the void between space and time.

Out of Print Moncton Facebook page

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