MANTA EP My first taste of Glasgow rock outfit Manta, and it was surprisingly lovely given my general antipathy towards the genre. Good stuff is good stuff – and this ep is good stuff.
Starting with the 7 minute long anthemic ‘Building Bridges’. The song clearly doffs it’s cap to Lynryd Skynyrd’s penchant for those smoochy last record ‘will I get a lumber?’ tunes, but the need to look out my breath freshener, or indeed my lighter to hold aloft is tempered by the lack of pomp in the production. The mix is fairly basic, and just fails to deliver the depth and punch the song is crying out for. ‘All You Want’ is a suited and booted instant classic from the Glam rockesque intro to the proper power rock riffage with flavours of AC/DC, Edgar Winter and even The MC5s. This is just a belter of a song and the whole band seem more at home ‘kicking bottom’, as I believe those hairy rockers say. Track 3 ‘The Only Way’ strays into Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave territory with aplomb, killing it again with superb drumming, bass hooks and guitar licks that any band would be proud of. No idea what they are singing about, so I will have to keep listening, but with tunes this good, I couldn’t give a monkey’s to be honest.
I hope that they don’t mind me referencing other bands - it’s just to signpost where I hear them coming from, not as any form of criticism. Where they come from is an abundant well of good taste and they seem - on the evidence of these three tracks - a stunning wee group. Faultless playing throughout and worthy of special note is the vocalist…as good a rock singer as a band could wish for. I have personal and particularly unreasonable dislike of bands with singers with American or Cockney, or more recently Scunthorp accents (unless they come from those places!), but after the first two bars, I forgot all about my neurosis – I was cured! I have no doubt that this lot could earn a small fortune on the ‘covers/tribute’ circuit, but I hope that they continue to make music this good.
NHC MUSIC'S ALBUM OF THE MONTH