The Manvils had quite a year in 2011. They moved from Vancouver to Toronto and celebrated the new release of their EP Black Tornado. They hooked up with producer Sho Murray who recorded their debut CD Buried Love. The concept that they acquired is to record songs in each of their favorite cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Chicago. The band in general are progressing as songwriters and performers as this first EP release clearly shows the creative side of the band in general. They’ve also shared the stage with larger bands including Metric, Stereophonics, Bif Naked, Sonic Youth and Ben Harper just to name a few.
The tracks on this EP Vol. 1 are:
- Lions of a Lost Tongue
- Black Tornado
- Alone With You
- Hot Volcano
Starting with the song “Lions of a Lost Tongue” has a good melody but is a bit erratic in the beginning which works well with the Eddie Van Halen guitars. I particularly like the vocal work by Mikey Manville (singer/songwriter/guitars) and as always Greg Buhr (bass) lays down some root chords and is the backbone that is persistent in this song. Jay Koenderman (drums) keeps the beat like melted iron. The EP title song “Black Tornado” has a shifty kind of beat with straight on rock and roll but has confidence woven into the song like a heartbeat. Choppy and fuzzed out guitars are layered in the song which makes the melody sound like it’s on the dangerous side. ”Alone with You” has a moody and dark melody with guitars that remind me of a murder and mayhem. With lyrics that say “I won’t leave myself alone with you” and “blood on my hands” confirms the feeling. “Castaway” has a definite haunting sound with a moody and dark melody which reminds me of being lost or having lost someone or something. Tense vocals throughout the song pick up the desperation that climaxes with an abrupt end to the song. Wow! “Hot Volcano” is an off-tempo, stop/stutter and frantic melody that works really well with Mikeys’ vocals. Choppy guitars end the song with a little bit of honey that makes the final notes all that much sweeter. Emotions are hard to get across to the listener through a song but Mikey manages to do this well. And his skills as a songwriter show up and are on the same page as the rest of the band. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on an international stage in the near future.
For all things Manville their website has a lot of information including CD’s, past media articles and a tour sections to see where the band will be touring in 2012. The bands website is here.