Tuesday, August 03, 2010

MANNERS : White Wool Fog or the Cave of Light Within LP

<a href="http://manners.bandcamp.com/album/white-wool-fog-or-the-cave-of-light-within">WILL PT 1 by M A N N E R S</a>
MANNERS :: 'Cave Pt. 1'

"A woolly mammoth meditating"

The thing that gets your attention about MANNERS' White Wool Fog or The Cave of Light Within is the fact that it's a cassette and a tuft of dirty wool tied together with orange yarn. When asked about it, songwriter Greg Beson said, "It's just stuff that I like," which makes sense if you know the naturalist, farmer, botanist, stone skipper of Portland, Maine.

The band name 'MANNERS' always seemed to be a serendipitous self-aware joke, the music poking fun at its sound.  Quiet, lulling guitar paired with Beson's polite whisperings. White Wool Fog is most noticeably an aggressive surprise in contrast to previous releases. Dirty guitar solos and
distorted chords attack songs like 'Night + Day.' It's all blended with acoustic guitar, softer melodies and soundscaping.

The full length LP is a fusion of MANNERS' various past forms and new experimentations. The tempo shift at the end of 'Cave, Pt I' is extremely catchy. There's even a track of running water in the middle, called 'Circle.' Beson also plays with recording techniques, creating a little fuzzy bit crushed noise for tracks like 'Ice.'

It's hard not to draw comparisons to Mount Eerie, knowing the act is one of Beson's favorites. MANNERS' lyrics contain repeated imagery of the elements and nature and the recording production is a similar clean lo-fi. Beson has a fully analog set-up, including a reel to reel four track, and does all the
recording himself.

White Wool Fog feels like a very three dimensional piece due to its repeated motifs, which make it into a spiritual journey down a dark cavern to find the light within. The insert even has a William Blake quote on it. 'Will Part I' reveals the cassette itself, shrouded by wool, to be an illustration of the song's lyric "I'll wrap myself in white wool, so I may mend."

A limited second pressing of 100 cassettes are to be released by Breakfast of Champs and Beson has said there should be a vinyl release in the near future.

//Son of Bees//
//Breakfast of Champs//
//Portland, ME//
//June, 2010//
//Recorded and performed by Greg Beson //
//"Peace Palace," Portland, ME //