Manicured Noise

Manicured Noise

Manicured Noise

Northern Stories 1978/80

Caroline True

The waning days of the recent post-punk resurgence is somehow an oddly fitting time for this compilation of Manicured Noise’ rarities to see release. The band was one of the many bands that flew predominantly under the radar during the first wave of post-punk that was berthed in northern England. The band’s practice space shared a wall with Joy Division’s and they appeared semi-regularly at The Factory, but for whatever reason their music didn’t resonate nearly as long as their contemporaries, which, as this collection proves, is a shame. With 18 tracks cobbled together from a list of disparate sources — singles, live sessions, alternate mixes, etc. — there’s not much of a sense of cohesion or clarity on the whole to be found here, only terrific post-punk songs.

“Metronome” kicks things off with the group at their most explosive. The manic transcendence in Steve Walsh’s vocals and serrating guitar meeting the locked-down rhythm section of Stephanie Nuttall and Jodie Taylor pays equal fealty to punk and funk. It’s like a more aggressive Talking Heads. Elsewhere the band delves into spy-movie soundtrack instrumentals like “Moscow 1980,” along with with covers of Lalo “Mission Impossible Theme” Schiffrin’s “The Human Fly” and “Great White Whale” where the quickening pulse of reverb guitar and an ambient, murky dub treatment show a group that wasn’t interested in rote recycling of the scene they were immersed in. Record store clerks should prepare for the inevitable third generation of post-punk revival by hiding the Gang of Four records and turning kids onto a slightly different flavor of dance-rock experimentation.

Caroline True Records:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Butch Walker
    Butch Walker

    Stay Gold (Dangerbird Records). Review by Andrew Ellis.

  • Belly

    Belly brought lot of grit and a touch of grace to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

  • Pickathon 2016
    Pickathon 2016

    Pendarvis Farms transforms for three extraordinary days into the fun and psychedelic fest of your wildest indie music loving dreams, Pickathon. Alexa Harris was there to experience the joys of farm life for the weekend.

  • Money Chicha
    Money Chicha

    Echo En Mexico (Vampisoul). Review by James Mann.

  • Micronotz reissues
    Micronotz reissues

    Mortal Micronotz, Smash, Live, The Beast that Devoured Itself, 40 Fingers (Bar/None). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Big Eyes
    Big Eyes

    Stake My Claim (Don Giovanni Records). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Various Artists
    Various Artists

    Money Maker (Studio One). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Pawns

    A triple bill of underground Goth, led by NYC’s Pawns, transforms Uncle Lou’s into a time machine. Jen Cray did not wear eye makeup, but she did wear a black shirt to the show.

  • Bossacucanova

    The Best of Bossacucanova (Six Degrees Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Ranch Ghost
    Ranch Ghost

    Lookin’ (Rough Beast Records). Review by Jen Cray.

From the Archives