White Manna, PAN (Cardinal Fuzz (UK); Captcha (US))
A dose of riff-heavy psych candy from White Manna, a five-piece band hailing from Arcata, California.
Arcata is a city in Humboldt County, an area of Northern California known for (based on my own, incomplete understanding – and Wikipedia): dense, lush forests; long, beautiful stretches of coastline; earthquakes; and, um, weed. These natural elements and wide-open vistas (and, um, weed) are all in evidence throughout PAN, the band’s new offering.
PAN’s six tracks soundtrack a space truckin’ joyride through time, veering off the road and over the “Land of the Lost” waterfall into a primordial world filled with the roar of ten-story riffs, looming above a dense fog, while underneath tectonic rumblings roll and buckle. Tracks such as “Evil” and the relentless “Dunes I” churn with the stomp and kick of bands like The Stooges, Hawkwind and Machine Head-era Deep Purple, with a bit of a garage and punk slant and a Sabbath-worthy buzz. Swirling cascades of reverb bump and grind with organ lines that sing praises to the (Jon) Lord; out front, the Danzigian croon of singer David “J” Johnson. Several songs linger past the seven-minute mark, but maintain the same, tensely coiled punch of shorter, faster tracks.
PAN is out now on Cardinal Fuzz (UK) and Captcha Records (US). The digital version on iTunes includes two bonus tracks, a live reworking of Hawkwind’s “Master of the Universe” and “Slow Dust”.
Go, like the band on Facebook and, if you’re fortunate to live close by, check them out June 19 at The Peg House in Leggett, CA or June 20 at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall in San Francsico.
Highlights include: “Evil”, “Dunes I”, “Pan”.