Reviews:: Mancino Manners Matter

I remember a few years ago I worked with a guy from NY who kept stressing to me he was the big dawg in the NYC. I doubted the validity of this, as he never shut up about the Yankees and had a huge, tribal tattoo that covered his entire shoulder. Anyway, his last name was Mancino and he sent me a flyer for the band and told me it was actually a party people held in his honor.

Mancino, as it turned out was a band of NY prodigies who loved quirky melodies and piano. I really like their debut EP - Dear International. The songs were catchy and they stuck around longer at our company than Dennis did.

So I was happy to get a copy of the new Mancino disc in the mail. It's called Manners Matter and the band stays true to their roots, delivering a disc full of fragmented, catchy snippets that are pasted together with piano, harmonies and nice drums. The project takes on a very art-school vibe (and I'm left with the same vibe I get from Vancouver's Mother Mother - Buy My Product especially), but for the most part they pull it off. When these guys are on the sound is great, but sometimes I'd like a bit more structure. Finding an infectious riff is hard enough to do, especially when the second you get there you quickly try something else.

Songs like Hetchie Hutchie Footchie and Five Blades really showcase the band's talent. A funky keyboard part and a multi-layered chorus helps drive this song into your brain. They let the sound settle and you see how easily they can craft a song. The Lavender Lake is a beautiful track that is Folds worthy.

Even some of the risks they take really play out well. L'Amour (or less) adds sound after sound (including a recorder) until you get trapped in a psychedelic groove. The YA YA YA YA chorus is a bit too Flaming Lips for me, but the song floats along nicely. Monster Trucks drops a head nodding beat that starts and stops, building your energy up effortlessly.

It's numbers like Definition of an Accident that lose me. It sounds very musical theatre, which is great and all, just not what I'd throw on to kick back. The reason some of these songs are frustrating is simple. Parts of almost every song are fantastic. They hit on grooves out of nowhere, but before you can get comfortable, they are gone.

But I can't deny that this album full of tight sounds and lots of riddles. Fans of quirky pop should definitely check it out.
MP3:: Hetchie Hutchie Footchie
MP3:: Five Blades

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