The Atlantic Manor - Sneaking Up on the Death
Scene & The Trouble That You Left
By Marcus Pan
The 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.
Imatation 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.
Do Too Records
Post: 8321 S 30 St., Miami, FL, 33155, USA