New York math-rock power trio Manner is renowned for the intense groove of their live shows. Turkish guitarist Deniz Cuylan is an incontrovertible musical force; he provides a wide array of sonic textures & styles, some of which are derived from synthesizers that he controls with his guitar. Drummer Cem Misirlioglu trained under Cyro Baptista and Mark Guiliana and has been active in New York’s jazz venues. Bassist Brian Bender worked sessions at Electric Ladyland, the Hit Factory and Looking Glass (Philip Glass) studios before setting up Motherbrain in Brooklyn.
The combination of technical expertise, virtuosity, and willingness to experiment defines the sound of Manner. Yet, the songs on their debut album Side Launch are as notable for their fun and liveliness as they are for their diverse structures and geometric grace. Manner displays the technical proficiency and deconstructive/reconstructive approach of Tortoise, but attain the playful essence of recent Battles.
Opening track ‘Caught in the Middle’ exemplifies their take on post-rock with a groove, with gaunt, incendiary riffs, bouncing rhythm, and distorted, angular vocals. The following track, ‘Big Fun!’ abides a reggae groove, but mixes in atonal keyboards and big drums, exposing some of the depth of the band. The album continues at an accelerating pace, with ‘The Wrong Side’ serving as an gritty, urban apex before descending into the palatial groove of ‘Parallax’ and culminating in the brief, pounding anthem, ‘Side Launch’.
Side Launch is available now ($5 from bandcamp).
Download/stream: Manner – Side Launch
Watch: ‘Red Racket’
Manner live at Babylon in Instanbul: