Self-released on February 17th, expectations and suspicions are ripe with only one thought, that the This One’s For You EP will be the trigger to a countrywide awakening and passion for UK alternative rock/pop band Manhattan Coast. The evidence is bouncy and vibrant through the five irrepressible slices of revelry making up the release, and though the Bridgend quartet is not exactly carving out brand new adventures they are casting an enticement which is potent and rigorously enjoyable. The EP is an encounter which easily catches the imagination and breath with its big contagious choruses and almost spitefully effective hooks, a release showing Manhattan Coast as another in the long line of satisfaction fattening bands from South Wales.
Formed in 2011, Manhattan Coast has crafted a fine and impressive presence and reputation locally and across the UK, tours across Britain and the release of their first two EPs, Never Tell Me The Odds and Beg, Borrow and Steal, sparking eager interest amid a constantly growing fanbase. Equally shows with the likes of Kids In Glass Houses, Blitz Kids, and Straight Lines have brought further impressed focus upon the band. Now, supported by a European tour this month and UK dates with Forever After, This One’s For You is the next stirring declaration from Manhattan Coast and a tasty piece of excitable creative persuasion it is too.
War On The Weekend opens things up and immediately has ears under the spell of an infectious hook and punchy rhythms. Into its potent stride with the excellent vocals of Nick Lane unveiling the lyrical narrative with smooth melodic tones, the track surrounds him with those continuing firm senses tagging rhythms and additionally teasing riffs whilst a web of inventive and resourceful guitar endeavour from Geraint Rees defeats expectations to inspire even greater adventure in the infection drenched song.
The band has been compared to bands such as The Wonder Years, Taking Back Sunday, and Man Overboard over past releases and sounds but the one band which stands out as the closest reference, certainly in regard to the contagion and inspired potency of the torrent of hooks across the EP, is Lost Prophets. Rees has mastered the ability to cause addiction with his inventive and often short but razor sharp hooks, their efficiency and potency as irresistible and admittedly at times enjoyably similar to those which littered the other Welsh band’ compositions. Second song Monsoon Season In Machine City like its predecessor offers that prime Lost Prophets like virulence with its first breath. From there the band unleashes a dense brawl of rock ‘n’ roll intensity and pop punk voracity as the song seizes the imagination and appetite as tightly as the first. The band’s songs have that mischievous quality of recruiting the listener’s passions, limbs, and voice in their adrenaline fuelled choruses, not a pretty sight in some of our cases, and this blaze of melodic rioting is no exception.
The opening pair provides the strongest bait into the release and band for newcomers, but are soon left in a sort of shade by the title track and the following Dreams Are For. The first of the two makes a reserved entrance, vocals and melodies stroking ears as the excellent bass tempting of Adam Jones adds just the right amount of intimidation to egg on the ever forceful yet respectful beats of drummer Dan Ryan. That Lost Prophets thought is probably at its strongest across these two songs but only adds to the admittedly familiar but refreshing stomp of passion and enterprise bursting from the songwriting and its presentation. The second of the two and best song on the release, is an epidemic of melodic toxicity and feverishly presented hooks within a pop punk riot of energy and ingenuity. Constantly unpredictable and swerving into new avenues throughout with Lane providing his most potent and impressive moment yet, though that applies to all members to be fair, the song is the most complete and original track on show and the most potent gateway into the artistic heart of the band.
Carpe Diem finishes things off in equally immense and winning style, rhythms finding their biggest sinews and guitars their strongest snarling attitude though as always melodies and harmonies aligned to deep infectiousness is the order of the moment. It completes a persistently thrilling and magnetic encounter from a band you sense is on the verge of breaking it big, certainly the This One’s For You EP suggests so. With no real flaws and maybe only a surface similarity in sound to some songs a seeming minor niggle for some i, Manhattan Coast is set to make 2014 their year.
MANHATTAN COAST EP RELEASE TOUR:
13/02 – De Bliksem, Den Helder (NL)
14/02 – Carpe Diem, Hasselt (BE)
15/02 – De Duycker, Hoofddorp (NL)
16/02 – Blaues Haus, Mönchengladbach (GER)
21/02 – Hobos, Bridgend (UK) w/ Forever After
22/02 – Racehorse, Northampton (UK) w/ Forever After
23/02 – White Horse, Colchester (UK) w/ Forever After
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