CD Review

The Atlantic Manor - “Sneaking Up on the Death Scene” & “The Trouble That You Left”

By Marcus Pan

Sneaking Up on the Death SceneThe Atlantic Manor were a refreshing surprise, with the light and low key sound and deep set progressive rock strains. Made up of R. Sell, Sneaking Up On the Death Scene and The Trouble That You Left are the sixth and seventh releases from him since 2000. Pushing a DIY spirit as heftily as possible, The Atlantic Manor keep things low key, off the radar and keeps to his own devices.

On Sneaking Up on the Death Scene, tracks like Heretic Racer can get very experimental as it clashes into surreal territory. On the other hand, Lamb White Days remains stoicly rock centric with fusings of deep melancholy and more than subtle overtones of sadness. Accoustic guitar strums serve mostly as a backdrop to poetic lyrics with chord hits that do naught more than keep the song moving along. It exudes a dismal feeling of loss and has an eerie quality.

Namesack track, Sneaking Up on the Death Scene, sounds strangely nice but slices with a surreal danger. A slow ballad with a piano and guitar, Sell's vocals have a distinct Bob Dylan on anti-depressant quality. His crooning over and over of "everything is beautiful" is as much an attempt at convincing himself as it is at convincing us. Very nicely done.

The Trouble That You Left is the follow up to Sneaking Up on the Death Scene. It opens stronger than Sneaking in that it begins styled as a rock album, if somewhat breezy and shoe gazing. The opening Positive Bleeding certainly makes a stronger effort to be accessible to most and does a good job at being a folk-sounding laid back accoustic guitar tune without any of the experimantialism the previous album had. A stronger appeal is the effect.

The Trouble That You LeftImatation Saturday and The Trouble That You Left remain similar in strenth and appeal, being garage accoustic rock songs, Imatation Saturday with a bit of electric punch in it. Two Story House gets a bit brooding and plodding, a slower moving track with strange birdsong intermixed with the heavy handed and slow moving rhythm. The surrealism that Sell can't put down for long winds its way into Two Story House with interesting effect.

No Reward is a surprise, having been listening to Atlantic Manor's shoe-gazer style folk for two albums long now. No Reward picks up the jamming, adding in a nice lace of punk over the garage accoustics. A simple song but a satisfying one. We go back to another accoustic song with Your White is Gray, but it retains its more upbeat style precedented by No Reward.

The Atlantic Manor keep to themselves and retain an underground flair. Storytelling like Bob Dylan, garage like The White Stripes, lyrics like the Counting Crows. All this mixed in with a bit of sadness, melancholy and a healthy dose of musical ability herald The Atlantic Manor as an outfit that can certainly infuse the airwaves with their music. But R. Sell may just be more than happy staying where he is and playing for himself rather than the radio.

Contact Information:
Do Too Records
Post: 8321 S 30 St., Miami, FL, 33155, USA