White Manna - Bleeding Eyes

by Sean Hewson Rating:7 Release Date:2017-09-29
White Manna - Bleeding Eyes
White Manna - Bleeding Eyes

Bleeding Eyes, on Cardinal Fuzz, is White Manna's sixth album of Motorik Drone-Rock. It was recorded and mixed by Phil Manley and White Manna and the mastering was done by the legendary John McBain.

The title track kicks off proceedings. Essentially a two-chord, almost poppy, punk droner with an Ozzy vocal. Following Bleeding Eyes is the almost Reggae-like Vimanas. I suspect that they were aiming for the Dinger beat. The bass is hugely fuzzed up but the guitars are cleaner and there is nice use of a rotary speaker effect on the vocals. The song itself is a fairly basic three chord affair with just enough melody to maintain the interest. This is followed by Trampoline, another three chord affair (albeit with quite a few more chords in the chorus). The section after the chorus is taken straight from Hawkwind. White Manna do make a wonderful noise when they all head off into space at the same time. Invisible Kings is a freakier affair, and better for it. It's a Psychedelic nightmare of a track with the vocals a little more buried in the mix and swirling sounds all around you. It's the best thing on here and I hope White Manna research this territory more often in the future. Feedback starts Speed Dagger (as it does most tracks here) and it's back to fairly basic Riff Rock. Unfortunately, the vocal melody also follows the riff which is one of my pet peeves (yes, even on Iron Man). Fortunately, the riff is pretty good and the sound is awesome. English Breakfast has another Hawkwind-like chord progression. The heavy use of effects on the vocal really work well here, as does the more adventurous drumming. The whole effect is only heightened when the band set out for space again at the end. You Are The Movie has a nice, warm, fuzzy feel to it, mainly because of the bass line. It's a groovier affair than the other tracks on the album and it reminds me of Black Angels. Another strong bass line is at the heart of Freak. It's another slightly unhinged track and a great way to end the album. Predominantly built around one chord, it is Psychedelic and exuberant enough to be a rivetting listen.

Bleeding Eyes is an enjoyable album, but not a classic. There are hints (on Invisible Kings and English Breakfast) that White Manna could turn into something quite awe-inspiring if they favoured their freakier side rather than their riffy side. I don't particularly think the Motorik style plays to their strengths as they are best when the drumming is more adventurous.

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