Man Made is a half girl half boy band from Newcastle, England. They have just
released this single entitled ‘Show of Hands’ made up of 3 songs. The band
that I’m much inclined to mention regarding influences is The Fall, Brix Smith
era (especially from This Nation’s Saving Grace to The Frenz
Experiment). Pale Man Made’s sound is much more modern though. The second
song entitled ‘Winning Streak’ is particularly reminiscent of The Fall
thanks to its Mark E. Smith-esque male vocals and to a guitar line which is very
similar to the leitmotiv melody of The Fall 2003 fine Czech football homage
single ‘Theme from Sparta FC’. In my humble blacklisted opinion, this great
noisy song should have opened the ep but then it lasts over six minutes, which
is a shortcoming regarding radio airplay for example.
‘Show of Hands', the song after which the ep is named, features an appealing
male-female vocal intercourse we are particularly fond of here at Only Angels,
it does not reach the stunning urgency decorated with underlying tension that my
Italian Flag favourite reached as far as this genre is concerned. This urgency
which was The Fall’s main quality too tends in this number to quickly fade and
give way to bubble-pop melodies flirting with fast-burner Brit-pop excess.
Despite good melodies, you feel a bit disappointed that the guitars somehow
yield to this Brit-pop style instead of carrying on their tense arpeggios that
really match with the female vocals à la Sleater Kinney during the verses.
the overall good quality of this ep (which ends on another fine indie song,
mid-tempo and easy on the ear) will surely make you listen to a subsequent
full-length when the group releases one.
/mar 15th 2004/