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White Manna – Live Frequencies (2014) review

September 25, 2014

White Manna – Live Frequencies (2014) review

White Manna “Live Frequencies” (Cardinal Fuzz/Captcha, 2014)
Imagine the speed freak intensity of Hawkwind merged with
the narcoleptic, druggy drawl of Brian Jonestown Massacre or The Warlocks and
you’ve entered the not-so-safe haven of manic, California-based headfuckers,
White Manna. About a year ago they were one of the unanimous choices for the
highlight of the Liverpool Psych Festival weekend and selections from two other
gigs on the tour (Le Kalif in Rouen, France and Copenhagen’s Spillestedet
Stengade) were recorded by wise soundboard engineers, who started the tapes
running and got the hell out of the way. The resulting maelstrom is here in all
its acid-washed glory. [Also note that the download version includes four bonus
tracks, so you can experience alternate versions of some of the tracks as
performed at one of the other venues mentioned above.]
                Slowly
sauntering into the room like a ballistic missile heading straight for the
center of your cerebellum, ‘E Shra’ bootstomps around your cranium, kicking
asses and taking names. The quintet continue to kick out the muthafuckin’ jams
with the punky snarl of the suitably-entitled ‘Evil’, which also evinces a
rather dirty, sloppy vintage ‘70s Stonesy swagger. I can’t imagine what the
typically sedate French citizens thought of all this mayhem – Rouen hasn’t
witnessed such a fire-breathing conflagration since the English burned Joan of
Arc in the town centre!
                ‘I’m
Coming Home’ is not the old Alvin Lee/Ten Years After chestnut, but it’s still
as ferociously intense as Lee’s career-making performance at Woodstock 45 years
ago. I thought I heard bombs bursting in air somewhere amongst all the Metallic
K.O., but that may have been a few brain cells kicking the bucket.
                And
just when you thought it was safe to return your brain to its upright position,
the band storm through ‘Sweet Jesus’, a battering ram of sonic sludge that
marries the Velvets to the Stooges, with frontman David Johnson’s Jaggery snarl
spitting venomous epithets across those who pogoed a little too close to the
stage.
                An
exhausting, cathartic experience you won’t soon forget.
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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