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It’s pretty easy to spot Manorlady’s influences on their debut.  The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, M83, My Bloody Valentine, and a bit of the Smiths all figure prominently in the songwriting, melodies, and vocal phrasing.  But where these bands exhibited (some more than others) an infectious sense of play, a lightness of touch, and a willingness to laugh at themselves, Manorlady take themselves waaaaaay too seriously, and the songwriting suffers for it.
These songs have no air in them, no inspiration, whether they’re aping My Bloody Valentine’s formidable wall of effects  in ‘Trees,’ the Pixies singsong melodies in ‘International Boys Club,’ or the chiming, stuttered notes of How Soon Is Now in ‘Red Juice.’  Everything despondently shuffles along, weighted down by anemic tempos and lackluster and inexpressive vocals.
Maybe Manorlady just can’t free themselves from their influences.  Maybe they shouldn’t be so reliant on a drum machine.  Either way, this album is plodding, leaden, and joyless, which is a feat considering their source material.
Note – you can stream or buy the entire album here.

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