Album: Icarus, The Sunclimber
Label: Eyes Of Sound
01. Of Wax And Wing
02. The Sunclimber
03. Hyperion Altitude
05. False Sun
06. Out Of The Sky, Into The Gutter
I am pretty sure that there should be some sort of award for best use of a Neurosis influence. If and when said event occurs, Carlisle based Manatees will be in the running without a doubt. Having absorbed the Oakland cultists combined skills of the riff and the ambience, Manatees have crafted one of the most introspective and downright crushing UK releases I have heard in a long time. It would be easy to chuck the sludge label in the general direction of the 3 lads that make up Manatees, but just like throwing gravel off a motorway flyover, it’s pointless and the results are not that impressive really.
They belong at some sort of cross-roads where sludge, post-rock, the tiniest traces of hardcore and Amrep all converge into one huge, Neurot paved brick road.
Opener “Of Wax & Wing” stumbles in on a staggering riff that explodes into some crushing riffage and hoarse vocals. It’s more of a surprise when it ends less than 2 minutes in and the title track rumbles through its slow burning build up of feedback, granite melody and synths to a crescendo only to give way to ambience and acoustic chords plucked over shards of reverb.
Additional drumming appears in “Untitled” driving the fuzz and feedback drenched guitars through the tortured vocals and pounding backbone.
What’s most impressive about this album and Manatees in general is the relative short time they have been kicking around. To create a work of this depth and skill at this stage only means there is so much more to come. Superb. -by dieshellsuit