Black Manalishi
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Black Manalishi

Warrington, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Warrington, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Rock Classic Rock

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Six months ago BM contacted us about reviewing their outstanding self-titled debut. We were knocked out with their flexibility in complementing the past yet still maintaining a fresh presence. Back with their second long player Mines A Whiskey the quartet dig even deeper into their late ‘60s early ‘70s influences most notably Poco, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and Humble Pie.

Vocalist Adam Ward brings a classic voice to the record’s eight tracks. Part Steve Marriott part Paul Rodgers he creates a dynamic tension that swells within tunes like the five-and-a-half minute “Jack’s Gone To Hell” and the funky ‘70s B.V.P.2 - a continuation from their debut which has bassist Craig Gilroy doing his best Glenn Hughes workout. Drummer Joe Robert locks in with Gilroy on the Stevie Ray Vaughan-ish “Breed” showcasing how well the two jell as “in the pocket” players.

The dueling, almost country nature of the song “Mines A Whiskey” builds on the tension of an acoustic melody battling it out with an electric fender courtesy of Mr. Nathan Moore. Moore stems from the Duane Allman/Carlos Santana school of guitar equally balancing country, rock, bluegrass and folk. With Paul Glover at his side handling the rhythm guitar, the two make a devastating pair. The acoustic phrases of “Am I Really So Bad”, “Dosemary Pool” and the monstrous “10 Fold” give the disc a refreshing momentum building across the board until it all comes together with fire and emotion.

Just to shake it up, check out the Danzig/Doors-like urgency in “Bleed You Dry”. Amazing stuff!

Websites: www.blackmanalishi.com;
www.myspace.com/blackmanalishi - Todd K.Smith - http//www.cuttingedgerocks.com


Nathan Moore (guitar), Adam Ward (vocals), Paul Glover (guitar), Craig Gilroy (bass), Joe Roberts (drums) make up this UK beauty. Deriving their name from Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac (1970, Green Manalishi) the five-piece sew together strands of ‘70s hard rock with funk and soul – a trend popularized by Free, Humble Pie, Deep Purple and more recently The Red Hot Chili Peppers. That said, there is uniqueness to this album that boasts a live “warts n’ all” recording.

With a debut spanning eight tracks, BM craft several meaningful moments. “Just A Simple Man” is a stunning opening track beginning with a delicate acoustic melody before blazing into a king-sized smoker. A raging battle breaks out at the end with both guitars dueling it out for rightful positioning. “B.V.P.” kicks out the funk giving bassist Gilroy complete control to dominate the song. However, it is “Blue Road” and “Jezebel” that bring the band into clear focus. Occasionally reminiscent of Thunders Danny Bowes, Ward’s voice fuses soul with just enough barroom backwash to create a true standard.

“Nothings” could easily sit on a Bad Company record – old school power rock stretched over a high plains landscape. The mood is carefully picked up and continued in the tasteful ballad “All He Knows” with the guitar work perfectly appropriate and tastefully erected around the song’s mood. “Judge” dishes up a nice slab of Hendrix complete with wah wah and a thick bottom while “Seasons Change” eases things down to a fitting end. The production is surprisingly clean capturing the emotional tango of a band in full bloom.

Websites: www.blackmanalishi.com; www.myspace.com/blackmanalishi
- Todd K.Smith - http//www.cuttingedgerocks.com


BLACK MANALISHI

“Trailblazer”

(self release)

Now here is something you won’t see reviewed on this website too often – a bona-fide rock album – but when the music and band in question is so good, exceptions to rules have to be made now and then! The Warrington-based Black Manalishi have financed and produced the excellent “Trailblazer” themselves – and to be honest it will stand alongside any British rock music of the last few years!

The band are Adam Ward (vocals), Nathan Moore (guitars), Carl Traynor (bass) and, just for the recording, Ben Egan (drums) – now replaced by permanent member, Lee Gallagher. They carry the torch for pure, classic rock – think a blend of Deep Purple, Free, Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath and more and you are roughly where the boys are coming from – with the music beautifully played and recorded, they rock hard one moment, but produce tasteful acoustic touches as well.

The opening title cut, “Trailblazer”, opens with a tough riff from Nathan Moore, whose guitar work is top notch all the way through, and rocks hard, as does the following “Hard Blown Away”, after a deceptively delicate opening. “On Attack” sees a change of pace, with strong percussion and a funky groove, courtesy of Nathan Moore’s wah-wah pedal – shades of the great Living Color on this for me!

“In This Room” starts as a slow number which gradually builds up, with great vocal from Adam Ward, with layers of electric and acoustic guitar – before a mid-song tempo change brings a storming middle part of the song, with shades of the late, great Paul Kossoff in Nathan Moore’s playing.

“Clapped Out Jimi” has funk overtones again – the clapped out Jimi in question being a camper van – with a brief spoken intro from the Warrington legend ‘Chris The Dancing Man’, pretty hard to make out a word of it though! The rowdy “Mine’s A Whiskey” has a nice bluesy guitar intro, before the drums of Ben Egan thunder in and the band are off and running – think “Burn”/”Stormbringer” era Deep Purple on this one, definitely one of my favourites on the album.

The acoustic-based “Break Free” has a lovely Crosby, Stills & Nash feel to it – and a song I would imagine that features in Adam Ward and Nathan Moore’s acoustic duo shows – with it again building, courtesy of more fine electric guitar. “Snakeskin Boots” rides along on another great riff – definitely more ‘Koss’ influence here, you could see this easily sitting on a Free record in 1972 – excellent stuff boys!

The album concludes with the heavy-riffing “Down We Go”, and “You’ll Ride” – with its banjo intro, touches of mandolin and acoustic guitar, and inspired by the recent movie “3:10 To Yuma” – a cowboy flavoured folk ballad, which shows the band’s ability to switch tempo and pace, and a great end to a fabulous, highly recommended release!

Obviously the band will be best caught live and they do gig extensively in the North West –this is as good a straight rock album I have heard for a long time, very well done to all concerned! They boast a strong front line in Nathan Moore and Adam Ward, and the rhythm section are also exceptionally good throughout, driving the music along in fine style – a great band!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.blackmanalishi.com

www.myspace.com/blackmanalishi

- www.bluesinthenorthwest.com


BLACK MANALISHI
(pronounced man-alee-shee)
Independent Release

This is the third outing by the UK four-piece and possibly their strongest stylistically. Basking in a wealth of influences including Free, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin, they move with ease through late ‘60s and early ‘70s classic rock. Fans of the band will recognize several of the disc’s 16-tracks, as they have appeared on the 2003 ‘live studio’ EP and the 2004 Mine’s a Whiskey LP. BM has learned the true character of a song by working it out live, then recording it. That discipline gives second track “Just a Simple Man” its full richness. Already a punchy rocker from the EP, this more polished “Simple Man” bursts with confidence from the metallic open-chord riff to the hypnotic chorus. “Jezzabel” (spelled Jezabel on the EP) follows suit with a Traffic meets Allman Bros feel - finding its spice in a textured organ moving through hazy jazz, “Judge” also heralds from the EP maturing into a monster blues stomper giving rhythm mates Paul Glover (bass) and Joe Roberts (drums) a powerful showcase.

Whether it’s the ballad “How Do You Say Goodbye,” the traditional electric blues of “You Make Me Laugh” or the gut-wrenching “Fade into the Shadows,” vocalist Adam Ward is a true find. We’ve said it before but his combination of Paul Rodgers and Steve Marriott are matched perfect with Nathan Moore’s guitar prowess. After years of hard labor the boys have tightly knit songs that not only capture their universal style but offer something fresh on the rock and roll landscape. New songs “8 Lives Down,” the riveting “Road to Insanity” and wickedly charming “Firefly” easily stand up to their revered icons. Our review copy sees the addition of the catchy “Nothings” (from the EP), “Jack’s Gone to Hell” and our personal rebel-rousing favorite “Mine’s A Whiskey” (from the record of the same name) with the immortal line “Fuck the sound check/turn it up to ten.” The improv instrumental jam “Brown Town” nips at the heels of the groove-heavy, Free-inspired “Buried” while a blazing “Sunblue” winds the whole thing up. Watching this band grow into able-ready rock stars has been an inspiration. If you’re looking for the next generation Aerosmith - Black Manalishi fit the bill. - The Cutting Edge www.cuttingedgerocks.com


BLACK MANALISHI
Trailblazer
Independent Release

It’s been a real pleasure watching this band develop into a superior rock act. Adam Ward, their vocalist has been sending us their demos and independent releases for several years and we can unequivocally say, “Trailblazer is a monster!” From the eye-catching graphics and photos to the professional sound of the disc, one can easily feel this group’s confidence and passion. Immediately a handful of songs spring from the disc including the funky Stones-meets-Hendrix “On Attack,” the metallic swagger of “Snakeskin Boots” and the dirty blues of “Mine’s A Whiskey”. True, some of the songs have been featured on other of the group’s outings, but here they get the full work up. The UK four-piece has been compared to everyone from Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Fleetwood Mac (from where they take their name). Yet, it’s their appreciation of well-crafted songs tossed in with a mixture of 70’s style hard rock that makes the whole thing so damn enjoyable.

Their timing couldn’t be better as Black Manalishi join the recent crop of related artists celebrating the classic rock sound including Jaded Sun and Electric Mary. Diggin’ their heels in deep, Trailblazer breaks out with the sonic thunder of the title cut, a rip-snorting arena-ready, foot-stomper that chugs along with plenty of steam. The acoustic interlude that leads into “Hard Blown Away” is pure ’74-era Doobie Brothers. It beckons just enough before a stampede of galloping guitars unleashed guitarist Nathan Moore. It’s as if these guys jumped straight out of the movie Almost Famous with their ringing hooks and swamp rock. “Clapped Out Jimi” adds another layer as it starts out like an old 78 blues record then jumps into a sizeable riff, catchy melody with the perfect amount of grit to keep it interesting. The disc’s ten tracks benefit from the quartet’s phenomenal musicianship, whether its brief interludes of acoustical layering, or nail-biting metallic guitars that leave your hair blown back and your face a little tighter.

Some of the real beauty of the writing structure shines on “Break Free,” a ballad that echoes early Horselips with the delicate use of mandolin and slide complementing the song’s phrasing. It all ends in a muscular rev-up that’s positively sublime. The steady bass of Carl Traynor and drums of Ben Egan are essential to the power and universally thick rhythm that carries songs like “In This Room” and “Down We Go” into a whole other league. One can easily understand why the band is often compared to Free as they focus on simple, unique burst of energy with Ward’s raspy, soulful voice tying it all together. Trailblazer closes with the acoustic poetry of “You’ll Ride”. Sitting somewhere between Bronco, Buckingham Nicks and the Byrds, the tune’s enchantment comes from its spontaneity and folk-base while giving the listener the added treat of one last hook to remember them by. - The Cutting Edge www.cuttingedgerocks.com


Discography

Album 4 - "Trailblazer" (2008)
Album 3 - "Pronouced Man-alee-shee" (2007)
3-track E.P. "Black Manalishi - the E.P." (2006)
Album 2 - "Mine's A Whiskey" (2005)
Album 1 - "Black Manalishi" (2004)

Streaming:
http//www.myspace.com/blackmanalishi

Photos

Bio

MUSIC IS BACK. Influenced by the classic hard rock/blues sounds of the 60s and 70s with an added contemporary edge, Black Manalishi are here to rock you, hard. And rock you they will.

History
The band came blasting onto the north-west UK music scene in 2003. Since then the original 4-piece outfit has honed its craft on the road, working an exhausting schedule, packing out venues up and down the UK, and receiving numerous accolades & awards while steadily building an expansive, loyal army of fans both at home and abroad.

Taking their name from "The Green Manalishi", a seminal 70s Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac song, BM’s unique sound is a fusion of classic rock, blues, funk, country and jazz – you name it, these guys can play it! Regularly compared to the timeless bands of the golden music era such as Free, Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, while maintaining an original, modern angle.

On-stage
Giving live performances which simply must be witnessed to be believed, BM never fails to impress both existing fans and new listeners time after time. With unparalleled musicianship skills, on-stage the band appear as if they are one collective mind even when improvising – which is a regular and most welcome feature at all of their shows.

Current Album
Summer 2008 saw the launch of a hugely anticipated new album, "Trailblazer", which is catapulted the band’s profile to a new high. The album is available on iTunes, Amazon and at gigs.

2010 - New Line-up, New Album

Introducing Lee Gallagher on drums and Sean Gallagher on bass, BM have finally found the perfect rhythm section.

The band has struck a deal with a London producer, and will be recording their first non-independent album in August & September 2010. Watch this space!

ACHIEVEMENTS:
• 2006 Jack Daniel’s Battle of the Bands Liverpool & North West UK Winners
• 2005 Castlemaine XXXX UK Battle of the Bands Winners
• 4 tracks selected for a US video game soundtrack (Xbox/PS2/PSP)
• 2004 Caramba UK National Battle of the Bands Winners
• 2004 UK Manilla Chart Winners

Testimonials:

“Trailblazer... will stand alongside any British rock music of the last few years!" (Grahame Rhodes, Blues In The North-West www.bluesinthenorthwest.com)

"By far the best songs I have ever heard from an unsigned act... I have not heard a better current blues rock album" (DJ Sam B, TotalRock FM www.totalrock.com)

“Old School Power Rock”; “Stunning”
(Todd K Smith, editor of www.thecutting-edge.net and author of Heavy Load, the story of Free)

“Led Zep for the 21st Century… incredible!”
(James Dorset, The Ranch Studios & Electronically Tested Promotions)

"Lead guitarist reminded me of Kossoff - and I knew him better than most. Singer definitely had a lot of Rodgers in him too, outstanding."
(Jim Wilson, Free's head roadie)

"Black Manalishi... a band with a great future ahead of them. The best new band I've seen in years, and I think everyone who saw them at Drumming Up Hope would agree with me. They are simply **** hot!"
(Mark Cunningham, co-organiser of music festival Drumming Up Hope & international editor of Total Production Magazine)

Black Manalishi are THE Next Big Thing.