October 13, 2013

White Manna, "Dune Worship"

No surprises here. In this case, that’s a very good thing. White Manna’s first record from 2012 was great, and this new one (their second) is better by a whole pay grade. The territory is space rock—long songs, solid mid-tempo grooves with few changes, laid-back vocals that drift somewhere near the middle of the mix, giant cascading sheets of rhythm guitar, and echoey, acid-stripped solos riding on the top. And while the landscape is familiar, everything is just deeper this time around. The sounds are richer, the band is more confident. These guys come from Arcata in northern California, a place where the trees are giant and prehistoric and the airy buzz is hyperreal. If you’re in the woods up there and the sun goes down, you look above you and it’s like you’ve never seen so many stars. I'm guessing that’s where these guys get their inspiration (aside from various fruits and vegetables likely being consumed in the studio). It reeks of the great beyond. It’s devotional art, something to put on when you want to take a ride outside your body. Actually, I was thinking that if they ever do a big 3D movie "reboot" of the Silver Surfer comic book (which seems inevitable), they should hire White Manna to do the soundtrack. Riding a longboard through galaxies, peering through time, saving and destroying planets, space-tripping across the Astral Plane—this is the sort of cosmic audio assault you need backing you up.