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    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Two steps to the left: Mancino MP3s



    Heels, be warned. Toes, take heed. Neck, look out. Head, brace yourself. Fingers, get ready. That's right, I'm popping in my copy of Mancino's delightful debut, Manners Matters, and there aren't too many parts of me that won't be tapping, nodding, grooving, outright swaying like a snake being charmed into doing its slithery dance. But that's also nothing too unusual. The melodies on this disc are so enchanting and viscerally pleasurable that amputees are about the only ones who'll be immune from tapping along.

    Mancino makes pop music for geniuses, rock music for romantics. Every song is its own fleshed-out, fully-formed event, loaded with smart lyrics and sweet tunes.
    They're rich with appreciative nods to other genres and influences, ranging anywhere from circus music to old-school dance crazes. They roll deep with stylistic quirks and loving tweaks that immediately separate Mancino from the glut of less special indie pop. Any one could easily stand alone as a single; any one could be the song a fan desperately and repeatedly beckons for at a show.

    And as every track holds its own, so do the three members of the band each play their integral part. Lead singer and guitarist Mike Grimes has a voice that's expressive and versatile, keyboardist and bassist Nadim Issa provides the bouncy sheen and pop sparkle, and drummer Jonathan Mason contributes that irresistible, body-enlisting beat. Issa and Mason also chip in on backup vocals in especially charming ways, sounding like they're having as much fun making the music as I do listening to it. It's rare to see a band this young already come together so naturally, already conspiring so skillfully to give your body an aerobic workout and your ears a pretty great gift.

    * MP3: "Hetchie Hutchie Footchie" - Mancino from Manners Matter
    * MP3: "L'amour (or Less)" - Mancino from Manners Matter [Buy it]

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    Comments on "Two steps to the left: Mancino MP3s"

     

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    dagnabit! Hot Rats!

     

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