We’re about to take a large step off our usual beaten paths, though maybe you’ll come to realize that it’s not as big a leap as first appearances might suggest.
What we’re presenting today is a music video for a new song called “Mystery Skum” by a band from Los Angeles who call themselves The Manx. The video was filmed during a 2015 tour with Nekrogoblikon and Crimson Shadows, though the song itself hasn’t yet been officially released.
The band’s debut album, released earlier this year, is named Voyage In Bad Taste. It was produced and engineered by Toshi Kasai (The Melvins, Tweak Bird, Tool, etc) and includes a guest appearance by none other than King Buzzo on a track called “Rainbow Hammer”.
I doubt anyone would argue the point that it’s more difficult than ever for a band to distinguish themselves in musical realms that have become more crowded than ever before. The Manx certainly do that, and the video and song you’re about to see and hear show you how.
For one thing, the principal instruments include mandolin, banjo, and stand-up bass. For another thing, The Manx seem to enjoy performing on stage in their underwear. For a third thing, they’ve managed to create diabolically clever music that has an air of gibbering, leering insanity hanging about it like an uncomfortable stench, and yet proves to be not only a big load of demented fun but also memorable.
“Mystery Skum” is a good example of what I mean. It’s a whirling blender of ingredients that include punk, bluegrass, and metal rasps, growls, and screams. It twists, turns, bounces, and brawls, constantly changing tempos and rhythms, seemingly darting along the edge where everything falls apart and plummets into the abyss — and yet the clean-sung chorus pulls you back from the brink. It’s got the kind of sharp melodic hook that tends to stay stuck in the head, even as you’re left wondering at the end what the fuck you just saw and heard.
The Manx have more surprises in store beyond this new video. We’ve been given glimpses of new things to come, including a holiday-themed video that will premiere for Christmas. To stay abreast of such matters, you can follow The Manx via the links below. And if you’re in the vicinity, check out their album release show on January 6, 2017 (details here).
Voyage in Bad Taste is now available digitally and on CD and vinyl. Order via Bandcamp:
The Manx is:
Adam Barnes – upright bass, vocals
Max Winston – drums, vocals
Myke Chilian – accordion, vocals
Tommy Meehan – banjo, vocals
Zach Zdziebko – mandolin, vocals