Manilow - Cease and Desist (Cover Artwork)


Cease and Desist (2014)


Manilow: unpretentious, unapologetic, raucous post—punk that has drawn comparisons to artists as diverse as Wire, Sonic Youth, Television and Bauhaus. This London three—piece may wear their influences on their sleeve, but they actively resist pigeonholing, lead singer Dean Moston having commented: "We don't aim for ‘a sound'. We just write and play the stuff we are going through."

The band's debut release, Cease and Desist, opens with the gutsy, waspish guitars and sneering vocals of "Missing," instantly bringing to mind the original wave of British punk as pioneered by The Clash, The Damned and the Sex Pistols. Moston's distinctive vocal boasts that unmistakably ‘London' timbre, with its lurching, wide vowels and ‘shouting with style' delivery.

However, the band's disdain for being categorised comes into play almost instantly, with track two dragging the listener in a quite different direction —— one that, with its lazy, groove—heavy bass line and expansive guitar work brings to mind the Madchester acts of the ‘80s and '90s —— bands such as the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets. Track three, the frenetic "Control Issue," showcases one of the best things about Manilow: the fact that you can easily discern the work of each and every member of the trio. The record isn't saturated in over—dubs and layering, and you get the sense that what you're hearing is pretty close to a live sound.

Speaking of which, Manilow are already gaining a reputation on the gig circuit for their high—energy live shows, and after releasing Cease and Desist on October 10 will be lining up a UK tour to promote it. Dean, Paul and Gary make uncompromising music, and you'll either like or you won't. But, as always with offshoots of punk music, this is exactly as it should be.