White Manna – ARC

There is no band quite like White Manna, and never has that ever been more clear than on their mind-blistering new album, ARC.

Since 2012, White Manna has been an ever-developing entity, consistently pushing the boundaries of genres and music itself and proving time and time again that they are a true embodiment of the psychedelic spirit. Throughout their latest effort, the band reveals their minimalist side while still retaining their frenzied rock prowess.

The Arcata, CA, group explores desolate synth-scapes in songs like “Mythic Salon” and “Pollen Ball,” which pulse with trance-inducing repetitive rhythms and simplistic drumming patterns that bring to mind the likes of Silver Apples and Harmonia.  

Yet, what sets these analog cosmic expeditions apart from their Krautrock ancestors, is the curious addition of horns. On “Mystic Salon,” the brass instrumentation plays in harmony with the throbbing synthesizers, often while slathered in reverb. This unusual combination works beautifully, as it gives the music a truly surreal, alien-like quality while adding a great deal more color to the band’s sound.

This is perhaps best exemplified in the dreamy aural hallucination that is “Surfer Moron,” which combines motorik beats, hazy keyboards and guitar feedback with a trembling, almost regal trumpet. The track is perhaps the album’s piece de resistance, as it is a total sonic flood to the senses with so many layered intersecting instruments rushing around you and through you. Once this song starts, hold on tight.  

Elsewhere on the record, White Manna sets off supernova detonations with incinerating rockers like “Zosser” and “Pilgrim’s Promise.” On these tracks, guitars blare with rabid buzzsaw fuzz, while waves of white noise and apocalyptic drums crash underneath with a reckless fury. When this band shreds, they fucking shred

No matter if you’re listening to the album’s more reserved pieces or its full-on acid attacks, you’ll find that White Manna is more unbridled and adventurous than ever.

This face-melting record comes out tomorrow, so get your copy now. If you’re in America, you can buy yours from our friends at Centripetal Force Records here, and if you’re in the UK or Europe, get yours from Cardinal Fuzz right here.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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