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Subba Cultcha Review Of Manatees
Posted by Mark
14 November, 2006 at 19:26
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Another fine review from another fine source. Eddie Thomas reviews Manatee's debut offering for Subba Cultcha

Making experimentalism an essential experience.

At first listen, Manatees seem to be the latest in a long line of bands destined to be marketed as “sounding like Neurosis”. Not that I think that is a bad thing - the latter’s “Times Of Grace” is one of the seminal albums of the ‘90’s - but unlike most of the other bands whose music is held in comparison, I wouldn’t say that Manatees were actually particularly influenced by the San Franciscan noisemeisters. They just seem to have arrived at roughly the same conclusions.

Yes, both bands utilise slow tempos, a wall-of-sound approach which alternates between face-melting brutality and hypnotic experimentation. But beneath the veneer there are some fundamental differences. Manatees seem to owe much more to the likes of Swans than do Neurosis; and somehow the metal influence which pervades Neurosis seems to be absent here. It might be as heavy as a lorry sandwich, but the source of their inspiration seems to owe more to the experimental underground movement of the early ‘80’s. The results do sound remarkably similar, but the distinction is clear.

Whether Neurosis, Godflesh or The Swans are your bag, you will find much here to pique your interest. “Untitled” is a fine record from a band who we will undoubtedly be hearing much more from in the future.

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