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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover MANATEE, SHAGGY In Between (Quaketrap) cd 10.98
Y'know there are people who aren't just nice guys, but who exude such a positive vibe that it's downright contagious? Shaggy Manatee is one of them. He's the man behind the Quaketrap label (featuring hip hop and electronic artists such as Australia's Macromantics, Yoko Solo, Thug Emporium and the man himself). Since he's a neighbor of ours (psst, he's also a purveyor of yummy breakfast delights), we see him often and regardless of the time of day, he's always bursting with energy and enthusiasm. And that vibe is all over In Between.
We've had this album on vinyl for a spell, but we're pleased to report that it's now on cd too with a handful of bonus tracks! One of them ("Breathe") is a collaboration between Shaggy Manatee and Macromantics, and we've come to realize that their combined forces never fail to dish out the good stuff. As a whole, In Between is a stimulating concoction of good times, heady atmospheres, and varied beats galore... and the joint efforts of Shaggy and his many guests effectively conveys the Quake Trap crew's social conscience too. However, even when things darken in Manatee land there's a bit of levity that shines through.
MPEG Stream: "Number Game"
MPEG Stream: "Good And The Bad"
MPEG Stream: "No More Trouble"

MANATEE, SHAGGY In Between (Quaketrap) lp 9.00
Y'know there are people who aren't just nice guys, but who exude such a positive vibe that it's downright contagious? Shaggy Manatee is one of them. He's the man behind the Quaketrap label (featuring hip hop and electronic artists such as Australia's Macromantics, Yoko Solo, Thug Emporium and the man himself). Since he's a neighbor of ours (psst, he's also a purveyor of yummy breakfast delights), we see him often and regardless of the time of day, he's always bursting with energy and enthusiasm. And that vibe is all over In Between. As a whole, In Between is a stimulating concoction of good times, heady atmospheres, and varied beats galore... and the joint efforts of Shaggy and his guests effectively conveys the Quake Trap crew's social conscience too. However, even when things darken in Manatee land there's a bit of levity that shines through.
Psst, this is also available on cd with a handful of bonus tracks! One of them ("Breathe") is a collaboration between Shaggy Manatee and Macromantics, and we've come to realize that their combined forces never fail to dish out the good stuff.
MPEG Stream: "Number Game"
MPEG Stream: "Good And The Bad"
MPEG Stream: "No More Trouble"

album cover MANBEARD / AVARUS Split (Tour CDR 2007) (Secret Eye) cd-r 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
This is the first we've heard from the brilliantly named Manbeard, the fucked up freak folk cabaret offshoot of old aQ faves Urdog. Here they share a cd-r with furry Finnish folk combo Avarus, originally a tour only release, and while it might not seem like it, weirdly it's kind of a good match. Manbeard are tough to explain. Very jaunty and sing songy, almost like sea shanties, big drums, dramatic WAY over the top vocals, angular riffing, a little bit gloomy and dark, gothic even, with squiggly synths, damaged percussion, and really twisted songs. And really bizarre overdubs, strange characters making announcements, speaking to the listener, adding their 2 cents to various songs. Definitely an acquired taste, but if you're into the same weird stuff we are, then acquiring it might not be that difficult. The weird thing is, this disc is jam packed with short-ish Manbeard songs, then right in the middle, tack 5 in fact, is the ONE Avarus song, a massive half hour jam, recorded live, all ramshackle rhythms, and detuned guitars, chanted vocals, fluttering woodwinds, raga like buzzing, stumbling druggy far out freaked out damaged outsider genius for sure. It sounds like a blast, like they just set up on the street in the middle of rush hour, and their merrymaking just sucked in a massive crowd, dancing and howling and whooping and wildly frolicking through the streets of Helsinki. At least that's what it sounds like.
Then it's time again for more Manbeard weirdness, fragmented song experiments, fucked up drones, lo-fi off kilter bedroom folk, fractured dada-ist pop and whatever else crossed their twisted musical minds.
In cool hand screened color sleeves, with printed inserts. We got these direct from The Manbeard when he was in town, and he mentioned these might be the last copies, so if we run out that might be it.
MPEG Stream: MANBEARD "Original Performance Of The Manbeard Denizens Folk Classic, Manbearde Folk Classic, Manbeard Factory"
MPEG Stream: AVARUS "Mayra Syo Junkun Ihmiseh"

album cover MANCINI, HENRY The Versatile (El / Cherry Red) cd 17.98

MPEG Stream: "Poinciana"
MPEG Stream: "Driftwood And Dreams"
MPEG Stream: "Ebb Tide"

MANCINI, HENRY Touch Of Evil (OST) (Cherry Red) cd 17.98
Awesome film. Awesome sounds.

album cover MANCO, BARIS 2023 (Guerssen) cd 17.98
You know that we at aQ are big fans of Turkish psych legend Erkin Koray. We were even incredibly lucky enough to have him spend an afternoon here recently, signing autographs!! We've also recommended stuff by various of Koray's contemporaries, like Cem Karaca and Edip Akbayram. But, we haven't gotten much of a chance to talk about another Turkish psych/pop legend, Baris Manco, a man immediately recognizable by his luxuriant long hair and impressive mustache.
Now, Spain's Guerssen label has, for the first time, properly reissued on cd several classics from Manco's discography. We'll start with this one. It's Manco's first full-length album, we think, from 1975, and is considered by some to be his masterpiece. Certainly it's got its special charms - most notably, as you might guess from the title 2023, there's a futuristic vibe to it. Which means, lots of far out synthesizer sounds accompany the traditional Anadolu Pop folk elements. So it sounds just a bit like Bruce Haack goes belly dancing! Weird that may be, but Manco's smooth singing tends to accentuate the mostly laid back, mellow mood here. Though this Middle Eastern soft rock prog does of course get kinda funky/groovy too. And we definitely can call it "prog", when one track is a 12 minute plus multi-part suite that incorporates both flute and field recordings of bird twitter, right? Oh, and there's one song, we swear if Ozzy were singing instead of Baris, that would sound a lot like Sabbath's "Planet Caravan".
To sum up: pretty cool. We wish our country's "most influential pop artists" made weird sci-fi sounding concept albums like this. And if you were wondering, our guess, without looking at the copious liner notes that this comes with, is that the significance of the "2023" date has to do with how that year will be the centennial anniversary of the founding of the modern Turkish Republic.
MPEG Stream: "Kayalarõn Oglu"
MPEG Stream: "2023"
MPEG Stream: "Tavuklara Kõsst De"

album cover MANCO, BARIS 2023 (Guerssen) lp 32.00
NOW REISSUED ON VINYL TOO!
You know that we at aQ are big fans of Turkish psych legend Erkin Koray. We were even incredibly lucky enough to have him spend an afternoon here recently, signing autographs!! We've also recommended stuff by various of Koray's contemporaries, like Cem Karaca and Edip Akbayram. But, we haven't gotten much of a chance to talk about another Turkish psych/pop legend, Baris Manco, a man immediately recognizable by his luxuriant long hair and impressive mustache.
Now, Spain's Guerssen label has, for the first time, properly reissued on cd several classics from Manco's discography. We'll start with this one. It's Manco's first full-length album, we think, from 1975, and is considered by some to be his masterpiece. Certainly it's got its special charms - most notably, as you might guess from the title 2023, there's a futuristic vibe to it. Which means, lots of far out synthesizer sounds accompany the traditional Anadolu Pop folk elements. So it sounds just a bit like Bruce Haack goes belly dancing! Weird that may be, but Manco's smooth singing tends to accentuate the mostly laid back, mellow mood here. Though this Middle Eastern soft rock prog does of course get kinda funky/groovy too. And we definitely can call it "prog", when one track is a 12 minute plus multi-part suite that incorporates both flute and field recordings of bird twitter, right? Oh, and there's one song, we swear if Ozzy were singing instead of Baris, that would sound a lot like Sabbath's "Planet Caravan".
To sum up: pretty cool. We wish our country's "most influential pop artists" made weird sci-fi sounding concept albums like this.
MPEG Stream: "Kayalarõn Oglu"
MPEG Stream: "2023"
MPEG Stream: "Tavuklara Kõsst De"

MANCO, BARIS Dunden Begune (Turkuola) lp 33.00
Turkish psych singer.

MANCO, BARIS s/t (Turkuola) lp 33.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MANCO, BARIS Sakla Samani Gelir Zamanõ (Turku La) lp 32.00

album cover MANDALAY MARIONETTE MUSIC The Magic Of Burma (Blueberry Buddha) cd-r 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If you like the wonderful Sublime Frequencies series that we've been in love with here at AQ, here is a new cd-r compiled by an AQ customer that is not a part of that series but for sure captures the same sprit and raw aesthetic as those releases. These are sounds rarely heard outside of Burma. A drum and gong ensemble that accompanies marionette performances which is part of a tradition found both in India and China. During these performances the gong ensemble of 21 or 22 drums are tuned by adding or removing a paste (yes, paste) located at the center of each drum head. The paste itself is a mixture of ash and rice powder. The sounds that are created are so amazingly raw and pleasing. Often instrumental but at times off kilter female vocals lay on top of the percussion. You get the feeling everything could all fall apart at any moment and that sense of chaos mixed with sounds steeped in a rich tradition all make for a totally one-of-a-kind listening experience. We love how it's playful, rhythmic and at times catches a blissed out blown out vibe that you could imagine hearing as part of a warped Boredoms side-project. This recording was taken straight from a cassette that made its way to the states. With no information inside and several unsuccessful attempts to get a hold of anyone involved in the project in Burma, Blueberry Buddha decided to release on c-r a very limited run with all profits going to Burma Forum a nonprofit group which serves as a watchdog and advocate of humanitarian issues in Burma. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Candle Light Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Pagan Dance 1"

MANDELBROT & SKYY OD-Axis (Digitalis) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MANDELL, JACOB Underling (Kodama) cd 14.98
A big turn for Mr. Jacob Mandell, whose previous releases have been sort of stomping. "Underling" is filled with enigmatic slashes of electronic sound and digitally simulated tectonic rumbles make for album one would expect from Stilluppsteypa or John Duncan. This is the second in a 12 part series from Kodama. Very little information is given either about the record or for the series, but if this is an indication of what the future holds, things look quite interesting.

MANDELL, JAKE Love Songs for Machines (Carpark) cd 13.98

MANDELL, JAKE Parallel Processes (Worm Interface) cd 16.98
There was a time when Mike Paradinas wasn't all tongue-in-cheek and could give the Aphex Twin a run for his money...now that mu-ziq is stock on that one James Brown sample, we can give our attention to Jake Mandell's oblique melodies and electronic breakbeats.

MANDELL, JAKE Quondam Current (Force Inc.) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
After a number of IDM records for Worm Interface and Carpark, Jake Mandell turns to the formidable German label Force Inc for his most club-friendly album full of Moroder-esque production techniques of modulating synth patterns, topped with big techno beats, terse house organ chords, and spastic µ-ziq like spastic rhythmic flailing.

MANDIBLE CHATTER Grace (Magnanimous Records) cd 14.98
Digipack reissue of 1999 album on Manifold from these local weirdos!

album cover MANDRAKE Featherweight (E14) cd 9.98
On its surface Mandrake's music may ring familiar with elements of Americana folk and pop traditions, but to categorize this East Bay foursome as a folk pop band would be far too simplistic. In fact, that's why it's taken us this long to find words to write about their impressive debut album Featherweight. We should have known from their Prelude cdep which came out a couple years ago. Its title suggested beginnings, and we drew from it a sense of eager anticipation for things to come. Indeed, it and this full length prove 'twas no beginner's luck. They resonate with a depth, composition and composure far beyond their years. The songs echo with, but are not enslaved to the influences of greats such as Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, Cat Stevens and Gram Parsons. As has become the norm for contemporary bands, the standard pop/rock instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and vocals opens its arms to embrace strings of other sorts, horns and such. However, Mandrake never falls prey to empty accessorizing. They fully integrate each one tastefully into their often subtly prog-leaning, but very earthy songs. Each member's exceptional musicianship allows the band to ably leap from skeletal voice and guitar intimacies to fully fleshed rock numbers in a flash. Heavy in mood and emotion, dark in tone and lyrical matter, need we say, this album's title is a misnomer! Recommended for those that dig the more recent sounds of Bright Eyes, Jason Molina and My Morning Jacket.
MPEG Stream: "Endless Days"
MPEG Stream: "Nothing's For Always"

album cover MANDRE 4 (Rush Hour) cd 17.98
This is some major left of center space funk. Mandre had a brief moment on Motown but most of his music was released on his own private press label, which made finding any of his records nearly impossible. Wearing space helmets and adopting a mysterious alter-ego long before folks like Daft Punk, Mandre really was a pioneer of electronic funk. Originally released in 1980, 4 starts off with a couple of the most majestic and shimmering waves of space disco we've ever heard. The second half of the record veers way more into full on funk territory, still keeping a warped vibe but sometimes the vocals make it a bit hokey sounding. We wanted to be totally in love with this, and we do totally dig the first few tracks for sure, but not all of the tracks are as awesome as those two jams. No doubt folks like Dam-Funk have been hip to Mandre for years. Still a total must have for rare groove and electro-funk fiends.
MPEG Stream: "Rain"
MPEG Stream: "You're Freaky Girl"

MANERI, MAT & RANDY PETERSON Light Trigger (No More Records) cd 14.98
Jazz improvisations by this duo of Mat Maneri (viola) and Randy Peterson (drums). "the voicings on this CD are incredible. serene. unnervingly beautiful. at times ponderous with an almost painful deliberateness. the commitment to each other. the push / pull. the complete acceptance. warm / cold simple facts. illuminated prisms floating precariously above a high wire. compassionately sewn together. sometimes quirky almost mischievous." - Steve Dalachinsky

album cover MANES How The World Came To An End (Candlelight) cd 12.98

MPEG Stream: "Deeprooted"
MPEG Stream: "Come To Pass"
MPEG Stream: "I Watch You Fall"
MPEG Stream: "A Cancer In The Midst (Plague One)"

MANES Solve Et Coagula (Kyrck) cd 19.98

album cover MANES Vilosophe (Code 666) cd 14.98
Questions, questions, questions. Boy does this new release from Norway's Manes raise some questions. Like, how did this exemplar of raw, primitive, droney black metal end up making melodic trip hop? And how did they get Ozzy Osbourne (or, in truth, his close sonic approximation) to handle the vocals?? And, with all these changes, didn't this genre-fucking, once-but-no-longer black metal act release this disc on Garm of Ulver's Jester label, alongside recent works by Ulver themselves, another band, along with Arcturus and to a lesser exent Mayhem, who delight in upsetting their (former) fans who obsess about "true" black metal? Certainly if it's old-school black metal purity you're looking for, forget about the new Manes, stick with their 1999 "Under Ein Blodraud Maane". The open-minded, however, might actually dig this. It's only about 10 percent metal, with lots of samples and beats and layers of noise, and tons of Survivor-esque melodic pathos. It all kinda sounds like one epic song, the Ozzy meets The Cure style vocals soaring over junglist / tech step Amen breaks, with what heavy metal riffing there is being gloom-pop catchy a la Katatonia. There's even a track that drops in what sounds like Spandau Ballet's saxophonist. Other parts have a Pink Floyd-gone-industrial vibe. In The Woods meets Aphex Twin, perhaps? Solefald meets Cyclefly at a rave? Quite a shocking transformation from the howling-at-the-moon, spikes n' corpsepaint black metalness of their earlier material!! Now, it might have been a more interesting progression if Manes had gone the other way, done this in 1999 and then come out with the black metal of "Blodraud"...especially since most metallers who get into the realm of electronica tend to produce albums that are at least 3 years behind the times. And Manes haven't avoided that problem. Yet, somehow, we can't help but enjoy this, it's got a certain sincerity and quality and spark, and sheer chutzpah to it that works for us.
MPEG Stream: "Death Of The Genuine"

album cover MANES [View] Extended Play (Aural Music) cd 13.98
For some reason, when we first threw this on, we had completely forgotten about the last Manes record we reviewed a while back, about which we wrote: "How did this exemplar of raw, primitive, droney black metal end up making melodic trip hop? And how did they get Ozzy Osbourne (or, in truth, his close sonic approximation) to handle the vocals??" I guess we had maybe blocked that record out, and were still expecting, apparently against all odds, a batch of raw buzzy grim primitive black metal. But now upon reflection, this new Manes doesn't seem quite as ridiculous. At least within the realms of Manes' strange sonic world. Following a similar metalhead-alienating career path as Ulver and Solefald, this Norwegain outfit has basically shrugged off any and all vestiges of their metal past (minus the occasional 'heavy' guitar).
At first, having forgotten completely about Manes' stylistic shift, we were annoyed, and a bit bummed, but approaching this without any metallic expectations yields some strange pleasures, and we of all people certainly can't begrudge a band who wants to try some crazy fucked up shit, even if it's not exactly what we were hoping for.
The first track, is oddly enough a 16 Horsepower cover! Manes converts the swampy revivalist blues of 16HP into some sort of dark cabaret, with wailing crooning, clean vocals, almost MTV style, over chiming U2 like guitars, it does get a little bit heavier, but not THAT heavy, very glossy like later Solefald. The rest of the record veers from glossy metallic sort-of-pop to techno remixes, the songs are loaded with lots of synths, a little like a lighter version of Marilyn Manson or Orgy with processed distorted guitars and industrial drum machine rhythms and those very Ozzy-like vocals. A few tracks sound like Blur (!) and one sounds distinctly like Erasure, or maybe Duran Duran with its cheesy eighties hard pop sound, affected vocals and drum machines, which makes sense when you check the liner notes, which mention the fact that the song in question is somewhat inspired by Duran Duran" which explains why it features little bits of DD songs sort of morphed into slightly more metallic industrial shapes. The three remixes range from blissy, glitchy trip hop groove, to a sort of blown out techno soundscape, like an instrumental Front 242, to the final track which is a slow shifting blast of white noise weirdness. A big ol' crazy mess of very un-metal weirdness, but it's got some strange appeal for sure. Fans of recent Ulver should definitely check this out...
MPEG Stream: "Cinder Alley"
MPEG Stream: "Title"

album cover MANGANYI, FOSTER NA TINTSUMI TA TILO Ndzi Teke Riendzo No.1 (Honest Jon's) cd 17.98
A while ago we reviewed an incredible, and incredibly far out collection of strange electronic music from South Africa, the comp was called Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music from South Africa, and boy did the music live up to the promise of that title. We described the sound as being part Congotronics, part Nintendo, part Omar Souleyman, part karaoke, sounds pretty weird and amazing, and it was, a huge favorite around here. Some of the coolest, weirdest most damaged and deliriously fucked up 'dance' music we had maybe ever heard.
So now comes another missive from that same scene, this one a gospel record, Shangaan electro-gospel to be precise, which already sounds amazing. Plaintive, moody emotional heartfelt vocals draped over simple skeletal Casio keyboard rhythms, looped whirring accordion like textures, goofy lo-fi 8 bit video game music and a weird wheezy whistle (which is a hallmark of Shangaan, and tweets throughout all the tracks here), and a much more traditional sounding chorus of female vocalists, providing gorgeous harmonies to accompany the main vocal, and the strange tweeting, wheezing, skittering music underneath.
It sounds really strange, and definitely a little goofy, but the music is hauntingly beautiful and quite mesmerizing, and the more you listen, the more you become utterly mesmerized, the sounds lulling and soothing and transporting, transcending the limitations of the instrumentation (if those are truly limitations, we're not so sure!), and creating something moving, emotional and truly spiritual.
MPEG Stream: "Ndzi Teke Riendzo - I'm Taking A Journey"
MPEG Stream: "Amen - Amen"
MPEG Stream: "Tintsumi - The Angels"

album cover MANGANYI, FOSTER NA TINTSUMI TA TILO Ndzi Teke Riendzo No.1 (Honest Jon's) 2lp 22.00
A while ago we reviewed an incredible, and incredibly far out collection of strange electronic music from South Africa, the comp was called Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music from South Africa, and boy did the music live up to the promise of that title. We described the sound as being part Congotronics, part Nintendo, part Omar Souleyman, part karaoke, sounds pretty weird and amazing, and it was, a huge favorite around here. Some of the coolest, weirdest most damaged and deliriously fucked up 'dance' music we had maybe ever heard.
So now comes another missive from that same scene, this one a gospel record, Shangaan electro-gospel to be precise, which already sounds amazing. Plaintive, moody emotional heartfelt vocals draped over simple skeletal Casio keyboard rhythms, looped whirring accordion like textures, goofy lo-fi 8 bit video game music and a weird wheezy whistle (which is a hallmark of Shangaan, and tweets throughout all the tracks here), and a much more traditional sounding chorus of female vocalists, providing gorgeous harmonies to accompany the main vocal, and the strange tweeting, wheezing, skittering music underneath.
It sounds really strange, and definitely a little goofy, but the music is hauntingly beautiful and quite mesmerizing, and the more you listen, the more you become utterly mesmerized, the sounds lulling and soothing and transporting, transcending the limitations of the instrumentation (if those are truly limitations, we're not so sure!), and creating something moving, emotional and truly spiritual.
MPEG Stream: "Ndzi Teke Riendzo - I'm Taking A Journey"
MPEG Stream: "Amen - Amen"
MPEG Stream: "Tintsumi - The Angels"

MANGESHKAR, LATA The Queen of Bollywood; Bhajans and Raga-based Filmi (Rough Guides) cd 14.98
In the Rough Guide To Bollywood Legends series. She is a Legend indeed.

album cover MANGROVE Angry Animals b/w Mental Metronome (Flogsta Danshall) 7" 6.98
Calling all skweee-jays! Or would-be skweee-jays. We've got four new 7" singles of fresh skweee straight from the source, imported from Flogsta Danshall in Finland. They're in plain white sleeves, the only art to be found here on the labels. If you've followed our other skweee recommendations (both Museum Of Future Sound comps, the more recent Skweee Tooth collection) then you know all about this Scandinavian DIY electro b-boy instrumental 8-bit phenomenon, and you'll also already be familiar with the strange names of the artists on these four singles.
Flogsta boss Limonious' slinky "Swedish Pommak" already wormed its way into our ears via the Museum Of Future Sound Vol. 2, though the jittery yet spacey b-side "Hurri Up!" we hadn't heard before. And all the tracks by Mangrove, Mrs. Qeada, and Joxaren (all three artists hailing from Sweden) are new to us as well. Suffice to say, if you like skweee, you'll like these cuts, presented here in skweee's ideal format.
Joxaren's "Ritam Bluz" is a chiming, exotic, slightly sinister groove. Mrs Qeada's laidback "Post-Pubertal" bleeps and bloops nicely along aided by robotic handclaps and digital hisses (oddly, her MySpace page lists Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum as her only influence). Maybe our fave of the batch, Mangrove's "Angry Animals", is a bit of a fractured funky banger, bringing down some rigid buzzin' beats. The flip is pretty solidly crunchy / catchy too. The various other A- and B- sides on these 7"s are all pretty darn skweelicious as well! Seriously, if you're a DJ, just throw one of these on in your set for instant skweee cred. Listening at home is fun too.
Go here: http://skweee.com/ for a lot more interesting skweee info, including interviews with some of the folks we just mentioned.

album cover MANGUM, JEFF Live at Jittery Joe's (Orange Twin) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally in stock, the long awaited solo acoustic live set by Neutral Milk Hotel's beloved Jeff Mangum, about whom I simply cannot be objective -- the two NMH records *still* make me cry everytime I listen to them, they're that lovely and touching and brilliant. This 1997 concert was performed in an Xmas-light-filled room with an occasional baby enthusiastically chiming in alongside Mangum's super earnest vocal delivery. If you've ever seen Neutral Milk Hotel in concert, you already know that Jeff will deviate often from the recorded versions of his music, sometimes stretching out a multi-note wail for much longer, sometimes speeding up or changing a rhythm. That's what makes this live disc worth it -- for the variations he introduces, super sweet but just different enough to keep it fresh for those of us who have listened to the two NMH records hundreds of times already.
This show is super lo-fi (the venue is a cofeehouse), but the performance is quite focused and heartfelt. Contains songs that will be familiar to NMH fans, plus a few others, a cover of Phil Spector's "I Love How You Love Me", and best of all, the entire concert is also playable as a 48 minute film on your computer! Comes with no liner notes to speak of but there is a nice foldout poster. On Orange Twin, the new label started by Mangum and Elf Power's Laura Carter.
Since there's no track listing, we'll provide that for ya here: Intro / A Baby for Pree / Glow Into You / 2 Headed Boy / I Will Bury You in Time / Gardenhead / 2 Headed Boy Part 2 / I Love How You Love Me / Engine / Naomi / Jesus Christ / Up and Over We Go / Oh Comely.
MPEG Stream: "Up and Over We Go"
MPEG Stream: "I Love How You Love Me"

album cover MANGUM, JEFF Live At Jittery Joe's (American Dust) lp 15.98
Now on vinyl - AGAIN!
Finally, the long awaited solo acoustic live set by Neutral Milk Hotel's beloved Jeff Mangum, about whom I simply cannot be objective - the two NMH records *still* make me cry everytime I listen to them, they're that lovely and touching and brilliant. This 1997 concert was performed in an Xmas-light-filled room with an occasional baby enthusiastically chiming in alongside Mangum's super earnest vocal delivery. If you've ever seen Neutral Milk Hotel in concert, you already know that Jeff will deviate often from the recorded versions of his music, sometimes stretching out a multi-note wail for much longer, sometimes speeding up or changing a rhythm. That's what makes this live disc worth it - for the variations he introduces, super sweet but just different enough to keep it fresh for those of us who have listened to the two NMH records hundreds of times already.
This show is super lo-fi (the venue is a coffeehouse), but the performance is quite focused and heartfelt. Contains songs that will be familiar to NMH fans, plus a few others, a cover of Phil Spector's "I Love How You Love Me".
MPEG Stream: "Up and Over We Go"
MPEG Stream: "I Love How You Love Me"

album cover MANIAC (ROB) OST (Death Waltz) lp 37.00
Finally available again, the Death Waltz soundtrack to Frank Khalfoun's remake of the 1980 slasher/exploitation classic Maniac! The new version stars Elijah Wood, as the demented owner of a mannequin shop, who scalps women and attaches the purloined hair to his mannequins. The movie itself is interesting for how it was shot, so you never see the main character except in reflections, and you see his hands, via the killer's POV as he does his dirty work. Not nearly as gritty and grimy as the original, it's still pretty intense, and the soundtrack is fantastic. Definitely harkening to the soundtracks of old, John Carpenter of course, each track a mini epic, swirling, soaring synths, dark haunting melodies, pulsing motorik rhythms, shimmering crystalline chords, all blurry and gauzy, and hauntingly harrowing. The single named Rob who did the soundtrack is rumored to be one of the guys from Phoenix, although we couldn't find any definite corroboration. Some tracks, like "Haunted" sound a bit like a creepier, moodier M83 too, but the bulk of the tracks are very cinematic, minor key piano melodies, nestled amidst swirling synthscapes, some are super stripped down, and minimally kosmische, others are sort of new wave-y, very eighties style, as if an homage to the original film/era, and still others are weird assemblages of swirling FX and arpeggiated synth shimmer, all of them are fantastic, including a surprising closer, complete with female vocals, a sort of modern re-envisioning of eighties new wave pop, the sort of song that seemed to play under the credits of pretty much every movie in the eighties.
Definitely one of our favorite of the Death Waltz releases, so much so, that some aQ-ers tracked down copies overseas when the original disappeared and it seemed like maybe no more copies would make it to the US. So grab one while you can.
And like all Death Waltz releases, the packaging is exquisite, the cover a super striking and disturbing shot of mannequin heads (a still from the movie?), pressed on thick vinyl, the sleeve an old school heavy tip-on style jacket, includes a poster and liner notes, including notes from Rob himself. And yeah, as always, very limited as well! (If we thought it would be easy to get more of these, we'd have made it a Record Of The Week, by the way.)
MPEG Stream: "Doll"
MPEG Stream: "Haunted"
MPEG Stream: "Double Trouble"
MPEG Stream: "Bells"
MPEG Stream: "Headache"
MPEG Stream: "Haunted Sequence"

MANIAC / LILES / CZRAL Det Skjedde Noe Nar Var I Belgia (Dirter) cd 17.98

album cover MANIAC BUTCHER Epitaph (Death to Mankind / Pussy God) cd 14.98
After a dozen obscure tapes and cds, this is the "final onslaught" of raw, hellish black metal from this Czech (or Slovak? Yikes, I don't want to piss them off! ...ok, they're Czech. Whew!) trio. Fast, frosty, corpse-painted, old-school style ("No keyboards!! No female vocals!! Only pure Black Metal storm!!" they proclaim) maniac musical butchery, primitive and extreme. For fans of Immortal, Darkthrone, old Mayhem...
RealAudio clip: "Ve Stinu Hor Krusnych..."

MANIAC BUTCHER Terna Kreb (Desire of Goat) cd 11.98

album cover MANIACS DREAM Die, Learn, No Way (HP Cycle) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yet another mysterious musical discovery from the wild wooly world of underground Finnish rock. On first listen, Maniacs Dream sounds like they just might follow the same path as fellow Finns Avarus, Anaksimandros, or Kemiallliset Ystavat, with splattery, droning, free folk clatter. But we're in for a rude awakening as the band launches into a series of massive psych rock jams, echoey, reverby and relentlessly propulsive, with heavily affected riffing underpinning huge shards of angular guitar melodies. Like some unholy union of Faust and the Butthole Surfers. The band dips into homemade electronica, damaged and slathered in all sorts of cobbled together effects, and what sounds like some sort of alien circus music, skronky and bouncy but still noisy and sinister. But those get sort of chopped up anyway, into stumbling bursts of rhythmic space rock oddness that become more raw material for MD's freaky psych rock weirdness.

album cover MANIACS DREAM Turku Hold 'Em (Lal Lal Lal) cd 16.98
Yikes! No quiet forest folky revels here. Sure, last time we reviewed something by Finland's Maniacs Dream, an lp they did for HP Cycle a few years back, they were a sort of skronky psychedelic heavy freakout band, whose jams we likened to an unholy union of Faust and the Butthole Surfers. Well, on this disc they've gone a bit further down the freakout path. In fact, it seems like they set out to prove that Finnish peeps can make "Finnish noise" that's just as noisy as any Japanese noise. Turku Hold 'Em is just an all out assault on the ol' earholes, 68 and a half minutes of sheer feedbacking, crinking-cranking, screaming n' screeching N-O-I-S-E. Spread out over two long tracks with nary a respite, though sometimes the rumbling distortion will hold "steady" long enough to take the hardy listener into something of a drone trance zone. This happens more during track two (or maybe its that by track two, the listener is in a state of stunned submission anyway).
If this calorie-burning cavalade of chaos was by Japanese spasming noise outfit Incapacitants (subject of a recent 10cd box set), Allan here would buy this in a second. In fact, he's gonna buy it anyway. It's that good. And if good=noisy in your book, you might agree!
MPEG Stream: "track 1"
MPEG Stream: "track 2"

album cover MANIC SHOOTER Dog Master Teleportation (Upstairs) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Manic Shooter is one of three new cd-r's on The Upstairs cd-r label, run by Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never aka KGB Man aka one third of the trio that is Manic Shooter, this is the first we've heard from these guys but it definitely fits in with the Upstairs stable (Flower Man, Nonhorse, that Radio Scenic Glow comp), some futuristic sci-fi synth soundtrack weirdness, that veers from minimal beat heavy drift to garbled collaged whatthefuck, to atmospheric ambience, all run through that distinctly cracked Upstairs future/retro filter: clipped electronic beats get all twisted up by warped effects, hovering like UFOs over a field of distant high end squiggle and washed out shimmer, which gives way to some murky submerged vocal late-night swirl, before fracturing into a super distorted crawl through bad-reception radio, before settling into some skeletal synth skitter. Elsewhere hushed minimal synthesizer wheeze gets molded into a darkly propulsive Blade Runner groove, laced with warped bass and ultra creepy sped up vox, and so it goes, a dizzying trawl through some late night futuristic underworld rendered in blurred ambience, and short attention span soundscape, haunting and unnerving, mysterious and weirdly evocative, lovely here and there for sure, but definitely freaky and frightening in equal measures.
LIMITED TO LESS THAN 100 COPIES! We only got a handful, you do the math...
MPEG Stream: "Cathedral Pines"
MPEG Stream: "Dog Master Teleportation"
MPEG Stream: "Gliese 581"

album cover MANIERISME s/t (Nekrokult Nihilism) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We always say we're not going to write very much about something for whatever reason, we couldn't get enough, it sold out already, but then we always seem to go on and on and write a bunch anyway. Not this time. Short and to the point, since we only have 7 copies of this, and for months now, maybe years, we've been trying to get more, lots more. If we could track more of these down, it would definitely be a highlight, probably even a record of the week. Andee finally made contact with the band, indirectly though another band, so maybe he can convince them to let him re-issue it, or maybe release their next album or both. But for now, we have 7, and once they are gone, for the foreseeable future they will be gone for good.
So yeah, Manierisme, a mysterious black metal horde from Japan, this record easily one of our all time favorite BM records EVER. Fucked up for sure, warped and warbly, twisted and off kilter, buzzy and beautiful, so completely and utterly unique, one of those records that when some one is in the store and is looking for something strange and black and mindblowing, this is the disc we always pull out, and simply tell the person, "buy this". And so there you go. No ROTW, no highlight, just tucked away within the body of the list to be discovered by the aQ faithful who read the whole list. Maybe one day we'll be able to get more, until then though, seven lucky folks will enjoy the beautiful black grim mystery of Manierisme...
MPEG Stream: "Promise In The Masquerade - At Reunion"
MPEG Stream: "Asobi Tawamureru Siryo No Sumu Heya"
MPEG Stream: "Waltz At Last Moment"
MPEG Stream: "The Secret Garden"

album cover MANILAPEDE s/t (Turgid Animal) cd 13.98
One half of avant experimental dronescapers the Starving Weirdos strikes out on his own, teaming up with some other mysterious noisemaker to form Manilapede and craft this disc of 'dune rock', which is essentially a Starving Weirdos record writ buzzing and black, super distorted and blown out. A series of thick undulating drones, cobbled together from dense churning slo-mo metal riffage, buried hiss-like skree, which to these ears sounds like some sort of barely recognizable vokills, peppered with bits of weird percussion (which on the opening track sounds like someone hitting a chainlink fence with a two-by-four), Manilapede are basically some sort of avant-SUNNO))), and "Peninsula Overdrive" lays out their modus operandi pretty perfectly, a sprawling buzzscape, roils and grinds, the sounds so distorted they seem to ooze, the low tones rumble and thrum, impossibly thick, shot through with streaks of high end melody, wrapped around the aforementioned chainlink fence percussion, it's a creepy, haunting bit of mysterious dronedirgedoom, that barring its experimental leanings, holds up pretty damn well alongside the various more metal practitioners of similar sounding heaviness. And that opening track is good enough that we would have been perfectly happy if the whole record was just an hour of that and nothing else.
Thankfully, the rest of the record is essentially variations of that same sound, multiple movements in a singular sprawling epic songsuite, trancelike riffs are blurred and smeared and stretched into loooooong streaks, then layered and set to undulating, various bits of crunch and glitch and hiss are harnessed to form skeletal rhythms, giving the proceedings an obliquely industrial vibe, glacial and corrosive, buzzy and fuzzy and near static, 'dune rock' is essentially a more experimental drone metal, a sort of modern minimalism applied to the new wave of dirge/drone/doom, and the results we are happy to report, are as awesome as you might imagine. Hypnotic and heavy, droney and dark, murky and mesmerising and in its own way, pretty fucking metal.
MPEG Stream: "Peninsula Overdrive"
MPEG Stream: "Dead Man's Drop"
MPEG Stream: "Minus Tide"

album cover MANILLA ROAD After Midnight Live (Shadow Kingdom) cd 14.98
If you're into metal that's both "cult" and "true", you're probably into those underground epic metal legends from Kansas, Manilla Road. How many bands as obscure and eccentric have been around for over 30 years and are still making (good!) records? And maybe what's more incredible than the fact that Manilla Road still put out cool records (as recently as 2008's Voyager, reviewed elsewhere on our website along with several others from their long career), they've apparently also got enough "long lost" recordings from way back when for entire albums of previously unreleased material to occasionally appear! There was a complete studio album from 1981 that finally saw the light of day as Mark Of The Beast over twenty years later, and now this, a live-in-the-studio session from December of 1979, recorded for a radio show on Wichita State University's KMUW, by Manilla Road's original lineup, the trio of Mark "The Shark" Shelton (guitar/vocals), Scott "Scooter" Park (bass), and Rich "Ziggy" Fisher (drums), shortly before they released their debut album Invasion in 1980.
Apparently, this disc represents the second half of their set that night - the tapes of the first half, mostly stuff from Invasion, haven't been located, yet. What's cool (and surprising) is that these particular songs DON'T appear on any other 'Road recordings, though we do think maybe we hear echoes of a few parts in some later compositions of theirs. There's just five tracks here, but the disc is still 44 minutes long, as these are all prog-rock length jams (the longest one, "Life's So Hard" clocks in at 12:42), and as we said, they're an EPIC band. Although of course some of the time on this disc is also occupied by chatter between the female radio host and Mr. Shelton, introducing the songs, which can be rather amusing - at one point the DJ mentions all the calls they've been getting from listeners, that "everybody seems to be getting off and partying to the music". Right on! It's still the '70s you gotta remember. And so too, this is Manilla Road in their early daze, before they were really exposed to NWOBHM influences like Iron Maiden (though you can hear how they were certainly primed for that stuff).
This vintage material is almost proto-metallic, kinda like on their first couple of albums, displaying their unique spin on various classic rock, space rock, progressive and AOR influences, we're pretty sure stuff like Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, Thin Lizzy, and Ted Nugent. It's mostly hard rockin', though they mellow out sometimes too, and you get the idea that maybe back then they thought their career could go in a commercial, pop direction, rather than heading for the true cult metal status they eventually achieved. But it's Manilla Road all right, with Shelton's gravelly wailing vox and squirrelly psychedelic soloing here being recognizable (and trademark) parts of their sound even today.
While this is live and raw, the young band is definitely ON and kicking ass, and it's decent sounding recording. So, obviously this is an archival discovery for Manilla Road enthusiasts to get excited about! Especially fans of their earlier stuff, before they got thrashy in the later '80s. If you're not already a MR fan, though, we suppose this might be a strange place to start.
Released on limited vinyl last year by High Roller, now on cd via Shadow Kingdom, with a booklet including lyrics, photos, and liner notes by "The Shark" himself.
MPEG Stream: "Chromaphobia"
MPEG Stream: "Pentacle Of Truth"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Crystal Logic (Iron Glory) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This exceedingly weird '80s fantasy metal band has another of their many obscure albums reissued on cd! We first listed this way back in 2000, and it's a reissue of a 1983 album in the first place. But these days, Manilla Road is probably much better known than they ever were, whether nine or 26 years ago, now being cited as an influence by everyone from The Gates Of Slumber to Wormsblood, so it's about the time this cd was available again, particularly 'cause it's also pretty much our favorite of their whole weird ouvre (though they're still going strong even today).
When you talk about a cult metal band, they don't get much more "cult" than this one... Hailing from the state of Kansas, but more at home in some sub-Robert E. Howardian prehistoric epoch of swords and sorcery, this band is beloved by the same folks who worship Cirith Ungol and The Lord Weird Slough Feg, and should appeal to bizarre-minded fans of Iron Maiden, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Manowar... "Crystal Logic" is a perfect illustration of what's great (and ridiculous) about Manilla Road: eccentric (to say the least) vocals, a totally wrong (tinny, thin, poverty-stricken) guitar sound that paradoxically sounds fantastic & punk, doomy bass, mythological/intellectual lyrics, and lets not forget the so-bad-it's-good cover art... But most importantly, Manilla Road had the talent and imagination to write some great songs, and truly rule their own unique sub-genre of progressive, remarkably catchy garage-metal. This reissue includes the crazed guitar instrumental "Flaming Metal System" as a bonus track. On the album proper, you'll find true Manilla classics like the oft-covered "Necropolis", the doomy "The Veils Of Negative Existence", and the especially epic "Dreams Of Eschaton".
MPEG Stream: "Necropolis"
MPEG Stream: "The Riddle Master"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Crystal Logic (Shadow Kingdom) cd 14.98
Once again, back in print, and now on a domestic label, cult metal specialists and Manilla Road fanatics Shadow Kingdom of course. We first listed this way back in 2000, and it's a reissue of a 1983 album in the first place, quite possibly their best one, pretty much our favorite of their whole weird ouvre (though they're still going strong even today). Definitely the one to get if you've yet to delve into the discography of this exceedingly eccentric '80s fantasy metal band.
Yep, when you talk about a cult metal band, they don't get much more "cult" than this one... Hailing from the state of Kansas, but more at home in some sub-Robert E. Howardian prehistoric epoch of swords and sorcery, this band is beloved by the same folks who worship Cirith Ungol and The Lord Weird Slough Feg, and are in fact probably much better known now than they ever were, being cited as an influence by everyone from The Gates Of Slumber to Wormsblood. And it should appeal to bizarre-minded fans of Iron Maiden, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Manowar... Crystal Logic is a perfect illustration of what's great (and ridiculous) about Manilla Road: eccentric (to say the least) vocals, a totally wrong (tinny, thin, poverty-stricken) guitar sound that paradoxically sounds fantastic & punk, doomy bass, mythological/intellectual lyrics, and lets not forget the so-bad-it's-good cover art... But most importantly, Manilla Road had the talent and imagination to write some great songs, and truly rule their own unique sub-genre of progressive, remarkably catchy garage-metal. This reissue, like the last one we had, includes the crazed guitar instrumental "Flaming Metal System" as a bonus track. On the album proper, you'll find true Manilla classics like the oft-covered "Necropolis", the doomy "The Veils Of Negative Existence", and the especially epic "Dreams Of Eschaton".
Anyone who picked up the Max Planck last list, who doesn't have this, better get it!!
(FYI, this also just got reissued by High Roller on vinyl, we might still have 1 copy, $29, ask if you are interested...)
MPEG Stream: "Necropolis"
MPEG Stream: "The Riddle Master"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Gates Of Fire (Battle Cry ) cd 16.98
Wichita's wizards of true, epic, eccentric heavy metal are back with their umpteenth album! You know a band is CULT when the last thing we reviewed by them, earlier this year, was a reissue of their debut album from way back in 1980, and months later here we are with a review of a brand new disc, heavier than ever! Most metal fans outside of Greece, Germany and maybe Kansas have never heard of 'em, yet they've been at it for over two and half decades now. Of course, Mark "The Shark" Shelton is the only remaining original member, but since his (shall we say) unusual vocal stylings, undeniably great guitar playing, and storytelling songwriting are Manilla Road's main attractions, that's no matter. And indeed Gates Of Fire has got all you'd want from a Manilla Road opus. Literary themes both pulp and classical, prog-length song suites, and plenty of raw metal mastery in the guitar dep't. It's all here. Unique and anachronistic, Manilla Road exist for the true few who aren't too cool for the old school -- and indeed want to take advanced classes, under the tutelage of a teacher (Shelton) who has designed his own weird lesson plans.
MPEG Stream: "The Frost Giant's Daughter: When Giants Fall"
MPEG Stream: "Out Of The Ashes: Imperious Rise"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Into The Courts Of Chaos (Shadow Kingdom) cd 13.98
The (obviously) cult metal Shadow Kingdom adds two more Manilla Road jewels to their crown/catalog, with the domestic reissues of both 1985's Open The Gates, and 1990's Into The Courts Of Chaos. We'd once had an import of Open The Gates, but had never reviewed Into The Courts before. Both are recommended (if you don't already have 'em) to all Manilla Road fans, and by extension, anyone with a yen for thee true epick metal.
Last gasp of the original run of the Road, pretty much. Even though we today think of 'em as monolithic epic metal forefathers, Manilla Road morphed quite a bit over their career, from their '70s space rock origins to, in the late '80s, fast n' technical stuff influenced less by Hawkwind and more by the speedy Slayer and various Bay Area thrashers... But this album, often overlooked 'cause of its 1990 release date, sees 'em bringing it all together, really. It's got quite a few classics on it all right, including one of the Road's most epick numbers ever, album ender "The Books Of Skelos", which whips up a bombastic orchestrated onslaught of brutality, Manilla Road style.
Mark Shelton's weird croon wraps itself around the various twisted tales here, but he also breaks out some rasping black/death vox here that, heck, Absu fans oughtta dig. Furthermore, fyi, the drums on this ARE programmed, but still sound cool to us, sounding more maniacal than mechanical. So they keep it cutting edge to the end, while also delving back into the depths of 1970 for a cover of Texas proto-metallers Bloodrock's spooky downer rock opus "D.O.A.", which fits right in. Glad this got reissued 'cause it gave us a chance to revisit it and realize how damn good it actually is, Manilla Road perhaps past any chance of "making it" here, but still going for it like they're metal's number one representatives on Earth, and they know it.
MPEG Stream: " Into The Courts Of Chaos"
MPEG Stream: "The Books Of Skelos"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Invasion (Shadow Kingdom) cd 13.98
Here's a brand new official cd reissue of the 1980 debut from Manilla Road, the epitome of obscure, epick, eccentrick metal! The band that San Francisco metal faves The Lord Weird Slough Feg can't avoid being compared to all the time (not because Manilla Road were actually an influence, they weren't, but because both bands, as traditionally metal as they are, can be so gosh darn weird). And this here is doubtless among the weirdest of the whole screw-loose Manilla Road discography.
Though the production (and the cover art) is oh so low-budget and lo-fi, the band's imagination certainly wasn't limited. These guys were into Rush, Hawkwind, Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Motorhead - and dosing on LSD and reading pulp fantasy fiction. And, in these early days, they were bound by no "traditional" metal blueprints (or, for that matter, commercial considerations). Heck Iron Maiden wasn't even an influence until at least their second album, 1982's bluntly-titled Metal (which we expect Shadow Kingdom to reissue eventually as well). So Manilla Road were free to blend psych and prog and hard rock and whatever else into what they considered to be "epic space-metal".
And then there's the love 'em or hate 'em vocals of guitarist Mark "The Shark" Shelton - growling, soaring, dramatic and outlandish, ranging all over these songs, whether they be riffy and rockin', or epic and theatrical. And his guitar does the same. Quirky, pioneering, pure underground metal (or, proto-metal) indeed. About as underground as it gets. Now most folks aren't gonna like this, we'll admit right now, but a select few will - and if you're already like Manilla Road, or the aforementioned Slough Feg, or Cirith Ungol or Brocas Helm, or are perhaps just into retro, ridiculous, unashamed rock n' roll, that might be you. There's just an infectious zeal to these proceedings that I for one can't deny.
This record includes one of Manilla Road's most hot rockin' tracks, "Street Jammer", a song that's been covered by both Slough Feg (on their Hardworlder album), and lo-fi black metal horde Wormsblood (on their In The Stars cd-r).
MPEG Stream: "Far Side Of The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "Street Jammer"

MANILLA ROAD Invasion / Metal (Cult Metal Classics) 2cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As, I suppose, with so many things we sell, for some this release will mean nothing -- to others, holy crap! Check the label name: Cult Metal Classics. Well, with this release they're not lying. Perhaps you're a metal cultist yourself and/or recall us here at AQ raving about this '80s vintage metal band and the various recent (and already, again, often hard to come by) reissues of their albums, or even their latest, the return to former glories that was the Spiral Castle album. Wichita, Kansas' Manilla Road, the epitome of obscure epick, eccentrick metal! The band that The Lord Weird Slough Feg can't avoid being compared to (not because Manilla Road were an influence, they weren't, but because both bands, as traditionally metal as they are, can be so gosh darn weird). And this here is doubtless the weirdest of the whole screw-loose Manilla Road discography. Two albums actually, their 1980 debut Invasion and the 1982 follow-up Metal, which had been bootlegged before but never properly compact-disc'd until this double cd release. Though the production (and the cover art) is oh so low-budget and lo-fi, the band's imagination certainly wasn't limited. These guys were into Rush, Hawkwind, Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Motorhead -- and dosing on LSD and reading pulp fantasy fiction. And, in these early days, they were bound by no "traditional" metal blueprints (or, for that matter, commerical considerations). Heck Iron Maiden wasn't even an influence until at least their second album, the bluntly-titled Metal. So Manilla Road were free to blend psych and prog and hard rock and whatever else into what they considered to be "epic space-metal". Who else would do a song called "Defender", written from the perspective of a Defender video arcade machine?? You gotta love that. And then there's the love 'em or hate 'em vocals of guitarist Mark "The Shark" Shelton -- growling, soaring, dramatic and outlandish, ranging all over these songs, whether they be riffy and rockin', or epic and theatrical. And his guitar does the same. Quirky, pioneering, pure underground metal (or, proto-metal) indeed. About as underground as it gets. Now most folks aren't gonna like this, I'll admit right now, but a select few will -- and if you're already like Manilla Road, or the aforementioned Slough Feg, or Cirith Ungol or Brocas Helm, or are perhaps just into retro, ridiculous, unashamed rock n' roll, that might be you. There's just an infectious zeal to these proceedings that I for one can't deny.
And by the way, this reissue is a fan's delight, including lyrics and lengthy liner notes that give a very detailed early history of the band.
MPEG Stream: "Queen Of The Black Coast"
MPEG Stream: "Street Jammer"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Mark Of The Beast (Forged In Fire / Rockadrome) cd 12.98
Back in print, back in stock!
Here's one for fans of the USA's most cult '80s era true/power/heavy/epic metal band (who are still around, as a matter of fact). We've lauded them before, as being a uber-eccentric low-budget take on Maiden and Manowar, with hints of '70s prog, precursor to the likes of The Lord Weird Slough Feg. But it's also one of their weirdest, a lot more than hints of that '70s prog here, so others than strictly Manilla Road and/or metal fans might wanna check out...
First issued by pre-Rockadrome imprint Monster Records back in 2002, this is actually much older than that - it's an unreleased album from 1981, originally titled "Dreams of Eschaton". The band, for some reason, didn't like the recordings at the time and shelved them, but bootleg tapes have circulated among the Manilla Road faithful for years. Eventually Monster Records persuaded Manilla Road mainman Mark "The Shark" Shelton that it was time to give the album a proper release at last. Boasting cover art from Jim Fitzpatrick (who a lot of art for Thin Lizzy - as well as being responsible for the famous Che Guevara portrait poster you see everywhere), Mark of the Beast is a worthy addition to the Road's official catalog, though not their heaviest - it's a doomy but kinda mellow and psychedelic and spaced out album of epic, sad melodicism and majesty. The vocals are doused in FX, the entire recording is echoey and rickety, a few songs (like "Black Lotus") totally rock out, while many others wend and wind in a laidback druggy daze.
Like all Manilla Road, this doesn't fit any generic metal template...some of this reminds us of Rush's early songs, and there's even a proto-Current 93 narration thing happening on one track too!
MPEG Stream: "Mark Of The Beast "
MPEG Stream: "Avatar"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Metal (Shadow Kingdom) cd 12.98
If you're into '80s metal of the more obscure, underground, cult variety and a reissue of a 1982 Manilla Road album entitled Metal doesn't immediately get you jazzed, something is wrong (unless you have it already of course, but then you'll at least be happy that other folks, less fortunate, at last have a chance to pick it up). Released now as part of Shadow Kingdom's Manilla Road reissue campaign, this is the follow up to the band's 1980 debut, Invasion. It's even more metal (hence the title), these weird Wichita wizards most likely adding Iron Maiden and other NWOBHM'ers to their roster of influences, previously a '70s space/prog/hard psych blend of Rush, Hawkwind, B.O.C., Hendrix, Captain Beyond, Black Sabbath, etc. that in combination with their interest in pulp fantasy literature they turned into some of the earliest of "epic" (and eccentric!) metal. As the '80s progressed, each MR album heavied up, but still stayed strange (not difficult, considering the unique vocal stylings of guitarist and mastermind Mark "The Shark" Shelton). Metal is a great early example, one of our several faves in the band's still-growing catalog, in part 'cause it contains a song called "Defender", written from the perspective of a Defender video arcade machine! Here's a few lines: "Defending my planet / Is all that I do / Won't somebody play me / One quarter will do". Haha. Who else would do that, even in '82 when it was indeed a topical song idea?
Other key cuts include the no-argument-there title track "Metal", and Conan-themed classic "Queen Of The Black Coast". And let's not forget "Out Of Control With Rock 'N' Roll", which sure hints at that Blue Oyster Cult influence, eh? Then there's this album's longest epic, "Cage Of Mirrors", which gets pretty freaky by the end.
Reissued with new cover art but the more stark and simple (read: crude) original cover appears on the back of the booklet so purists can flip it around.
MPEG Stream: " Defender"
MPEG Stream: "Queen Of The Black Coast"
MPEG Stream: "Cage Of Mirrors"

album cover MANILLA ROAD Mysterium (Shadow Kingdom) cd 12.98
You know that all over the world, there's dudes (and some dudettes), of the sort who habitually wear denim vests covered with heavy metal band logo patches, who are giggling like little kids at Christmas 'cause of this, a new album from old school underground metal overlords Manilla Road. This band's eccentric efforts back in the '80s would be reason enough for their diehard cult status, 'causing there to be bands today who try to sound just like 'em (e.g. Ironsword, Hyborian Steel, Realmbuilder); but Manilla Road, after a hiatus for most of the '90s, hasn't stopped making albums in their idiosyncratic epic style, keeping the fans happy with a new release every couple years. This new slab, Mysterium, follows up 2011's Playground Of The Damned, though we also got more-or-less a 'Road fix last year from the debut of side project Hellwell.
As usual with Manilla Road these days, this new one certainly evokes the glories of their past, in various ways. There's the uptempo thrashy bits like "Stand Your Ground", and lots of slower paced trudges truly displaying their majestic might, getting downright doomy on such cuts as "Do What Thou Will". All throughout, the album benefits from lots of Mark "The Shark" Shelton's ripping lead guitar. It's also of course got his trademark weathered, nasal vocals, augmented as usual by the more energetic but still similar singing of co-vocalist Bryan "Hellroadie" Patrick. One thing Manilla Road has got, that only seems to increase with age, is their ability to sing songs about battles and legends and ancient things, and sound so much more authoritative doing so than anybody else in the business!
There's an all-acoustic balled, "The Fountain", and they didn't forget to include at least one lengthy epic, the album-closing title track, at over 11 minutes long, which doubles down on the atmospheric intro thing by being preceded by an atmospheric, synth-laden instrumental, "The Calling".
Thankfully, the production here is a big improvement over the muddy Playground Of The Damned (admittedly, though, the drum sound is still pretty horrendous), and if you liked that album and Hellwell and other recent MR efforts, there's plenty here to please you too, though as usual we'd suggest that anyone entirely new to Manilla Road start with one of their reissued classics first.
MPEG Stream: "The Grey God Passes"
MPEG Stream: "The Battle Of Bonchester Bridge"
MPEG Stream: "Hermitage"

MANILLA ROAD Mystification (Sentinel Steel) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally reissued, one of the many lost classics by this super-underground cult '80s metal outfit. Dating from 1987, "Mystification" is a keystone album in Manilla Road's long and obscure career. Epic "true" metal a la Iron Maiden, with a macabre, doomy feel. Dark and magical, and oh so slightly eccentric. Appropriately, this album's lyrics are mostly inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. With previously unreleased bonus track. Totally remixed (by the band) as well, as they were unhappy with the original lp mix. For fans of Maiden, Cirith Ungol, Omen, Manowar, Warlord, Slough Feg...

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