Sunday, 26 April 2015

WHITE MANNA – PAN (Cardinal Fuzz/Captcha Records LP/CD)

Coming to you from Cardinal Fuzz, one of the finest purveyors of Psych Rock/Psychedelia, is the fourth studio album from the Californian psychedelic juggernaut White Manna and it’s a hell of a ride. Named after the mischievous nature god from Greek mythology, Pan finds White Manna peaking, whipped into shape by touring a ferocious, mind melting, live set, as witnessed at last year’s Liverpool Psych Fest which left many of the audience with a rewired neural synapse. Pretty accurately described as a cross between the early Stooges and Lemmy era Hawkwind, White Manna mix the take no prisoners, balls out, sonic assault of the former with the acid fried deep space jams of the latter, locking you into their primordial grooves, ramping up the intensity of distortion and guitar wig-outs as they explore their own hallucinatory visions.
White Manna are heavy, very heavy……..after a short burst of squealing feedback, the album opener ‘Pan’ explodes into life with a fuzzed up, relentless riff straight outta Ron Ashton’s “Book of Fuzzed Up, Relentless Riffs” (the 1969 first edition) before hitting the afterburners and rocking it to the moon before heading out towards the cosmos. This track encapsulates White Manna’s thing……brutal Detroit proto-punk inspired riffing melded with fuzzed up freak flag waving wildness from Ladbroke Grove circa 1971……...this is underground Psych Rock at its best and ‘Dunes I’ is more of the same with ferocious Garage Punk pounding with wave upon wave of nasty, twisted, amplifier destroying guitar noise. White Manna owe some debt to the sheer sonic force of the Stooges,MC5 and Blue Cheer for their sound……’Evil’ is total Stooges style heavy Garage Rock…….it’s nothing startlingly original, but fuck, it’s some of the most exciting, supercharged Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ Roll about at the moment. There is a change of tone for the spaced-out ‘Dunes II’, distant vocals emerge from a fuzzy narcotic haze of distortion and drones that rises and hangs suspended in the smoky air…… cadet stoner rock with a nod to the more psychedelic side of classic early 70s Black Sabbath. The final two tracks on Pan are a couple prime cuts of mind blowing Space Rock…….the Hawkwind influences/comparisons are all here for everyone to hear (there is also a cover of ‘Master Of The Universe’ as a bonus track on the CD release). ‘Beta Travelers’ taps into the psychedelic hard rock sound of the great Space Ritual era and coming in at just over 11 minutes long, ‘Eshra’ is an epic Kosmische jam that spirals out to the furthest points of the known universe before crashing back to Earth. After already recording four astounding albums, Pan finds White Manna right at the top of their game and you really need to check this record out.
Available as a limited edition multi-splatter vinyl LP or on good old black vinyl and also on CD, Pan will be released on the 1st June but is available to pre-order now from Cardinal Fuzz in the UK/Europe………either from their online store or Bandcamp page………or Stateside from Captcha Records.


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