Manor Gates – Laughing In the Dark
Genre: Math Rock, Alternative Rock
Psychology has gone a long way from the days when Freud would convince rich Austrians that all of their troubles were the result of wanting to have sex with their parents or Jung convincing them that every event occurring in the world was a result of their imagination. Nowadays, it’s nearly a respectable business. And people of every ilk try and resolve their trauma as a means to improve their lives.
Still, there is more than one form of therapy. Rich fellows visit psychologists who charge a few hundred bucks for an hour-long session. Rich ladies travel all the way to India and visit an ashram where they meditate in silence for a week. And everyone else just tries to calm the mind and the body long enough to make some sense of the world.
Add Manor Gates’ “Laughing In the Dark” to your list of inexpensive potential therapies. The kind of music that the U.S. band makes is one that embraces emotion and frailty. It doesn’t do this simply as a means to draw attention to the band but so that those feelings have the chance to be consumed and reused. With passionate vocals and a sparse, anthemic sound, Manor Gates’ sound is that of a blizzard approaching.
KENTON MACKAY ****** – Ode To Rosie Part 1, 2 and 3
Genre: Grunge, Alternative Rock
The history of popular music can be divided into two periods: eras in which musicians take themselves and their work very seriously and periods in which they clown around and the public is on board with what they’re doing. It’s no wonder that bands like Cake and Eels were so popular in the early 1990s when, before that, people had to suffer to listen to groups who spent more time in the hair salon than in the rehearsal studio.
What era are we in right now? Well, the jury is out on that. Because there is no dominant source for music distribution, everyone can choose seriousness or comedy based on their personality. Overall, however, there are more musicians who believe that their jingles are a gift from the Ancient muses than ever before. Just listen to some of their interviews for proof.
Kenton Mackay ain’t having none of that artsy-farsty stuff. “Ode To Rosie Part 1, 2, and 3” may be a love song (or rather three quick ones), but there’s an air of irreverence about it that brings to mind the alt-rock bands of the early 1990s. The song travels from garage rock to acoustic pop and back to alt-rock. It’s lightly progressive. It has just enough humor to save it from landing in Frank Zappa territory and making it unnecessarily serious.