Manchester School
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Manchester School

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"Local Music Spotlight"

MANCHESTER SCHOOL

Their music will leave you reminiscing of your days spent listening to early U2, and I promise that not long after hearing “I Belong” you’ll be singing the chorus repeatedly in your head as you mud through your workday. Who could possibly replace Bono’s vocals in your Ipod you ask? The answer is San Jose’s very own Manchester School. Formed in the fall of 2004 when Eric S. and Eric B. got together to practice songs they had been working on, the band was soon joined by longtime friend Kevin on guitar in December. After of a year of writing, rehearsing, and looking for a singer, Rick came on board in December 2005, and the band spent the next few months recording an EP which rivals that of anything on the market today. For fans of the Joy Division and even The Smiths, you can dance to the addicting beat of “Mundane Night” and take shots to the sound of “Sunlight.” If it were up to me, I’d save the 150+ dollars it costs to see U2 and head on over to Johnny V’s in San Jose on September 15 to sing along with Manchester School. Schoolgirl uniform is optional. - Zero Magazine


"Show Preview"

Friday, January 5, '07
Manchester School
The Blank Club
44 S. Almaden Ave, San Jose

For those of you that believe you can only get that retro mod New Wave '80s indie rock fix through flashback weekends over the airwaves, think again. Manchester School sonically recalls the best dystopian nights of the Smiths and Joy Division while managing to create a wholly unique sound that would have Morrissey smiling in spite of himself. Yet, the post-punk flavorings of pop aren't the only hallmarks of this talented local band, Manchester School can also crank the amps and let fly faster anthems that should have all the disaffected kids dancing in circles in the open, dead flowered alternative fields of a scene full of potential musical hope and free from the screaming ways of emo. Manchester School headlines tonight at the Blank with Atomic Mint, Cold-Hot-Crash and Bloomfield Underground. (RO) - San Jose Metro


"CD Review"

Manchester School
Self-titled EP
Self-released

Well, if it isn’t too obvious, this hyped San Jose band digs the Madchester scene (The Smiths, Joy Division, The Stone Roses, Oasis to name just a few). What can I say? They have good taste. Especially because it’s the same taste I have and having obsessed over a lot of it, this band is something to go mad about.

Now, onto the originality of the band. The band’s debut EP, recorded at Last Drop Studios, consists of five catchy songs: “Mundane Night,” “Sunlight,” “City Lights,” “O.P.D.,” and “I Belong.” The band’s energetic and fast guitar work reflects an Interpol influence. The most exciting track is easily “O.P.D.” which features the freshness of Muse’s harmonies and a reincarnation of Remy Zero’s career. Perhaps San Jose will become the next worldly scene hotspot with these guys schooling us right.

Check out the band’s myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/manchesterschool

- Julianne Shapiro - Zero Magazine


"Best Local Band - The Metro Newspaper San Jose"

School of Rock

Manchester School basks in the glory of its 'Best Local Band' award

By Garrett Wheeler

EARLIER this year, bassist Eric Scharer and his band Manchester School received some big news: they had made the Top 20 in Live 105's search for an opening act at the summer's biggest concert, BFD. Bands already booked for the show included rock-giants Interpol, Queens of the Stone Age and Social Distortion. Big Fucking Deal, indeed. Though Manchester School eventually fell short, their proximity to the prize was quite a thrill. "It was awesome," Scharer says. "Even though we didn't get the final spot, it was an honor to make it that far. We were told there were around 200 entries, so to be chosen ahead of most of them was pretty cool."

Scharer, along with drummer Eric Batemen, founded Manchester School in the fall of 2004. Soon after, guitarist Kevin Rollis joined the group and the three began rehearsing songs and working on a demo. "For a year, we just played without vocals. We had some auditions, but nobody seemed to fit," says Scharer.

Patiently, Manchester School played on sans vocalist, convinced it would be worth the wait. Months later, their prayers were answered. "We had an ad posted outside our practice room in downtown San Jose. Rick Alexander was there jamming with another band, and when he saw our flier he ripped it down and called us soon afterward," says Scharer. "We gave him a demo and he took to it immediately. Instantly, we had a singer." With Alexander handling the vocals, along with the addition of rhythm guitarist Gabriel Maciel, the band's sound was complete.

Drawing influences from the '80s post-punk era as well as contemporary alt-rock, Manchester School's melodic tone seemed to swim around catchy hooks and graceful vocal phrases. Well-crafted song structures converged with polished instrumental work, while Alexander's silky smooth voice caressed each note like a mother would her baby.

The band's tight sound and obvious songwriting talent led them to be elected by Metro readers as the Best Local Band of 2007. Though the praise was high, a major difficulty still looms. "It's actually hard to find other bands to play with because we're kind of unique in our genre, especially in San Jose," Scharer says. "There are a bunch of hardcore rock and metal groups, but not much of the upbeat pop-rock we like to play. We've played with bands outside our genre—sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

Despite the lack of soft-core rockers in the area, Manchester School continues to book shows in San Jose as well as the greater Bay Area. A recent gig at the Blank Club found the band receiving a new level of admiration. "That show was so memorable—everything was just right. The crowd was going nuts, we played great—everyone really enjoyed themselves. The Blank Club's been really good to us," Scharer says.

Though the band has seldom struggled to attract crowds locally, their travels north to San Francisco have yielded mixed results. "It's a much bigger pond in the city," says Scharer. "That's one thing that's nice about San Jose—we're a bigger fish here. We've played in San Francisco a few times—getting a response is sort of a crapshoot, but we hope to play there more." To be sure, Manchester School will have to win over San Francisco crowds before they can hope to rise to commercial success, but for now, things are going pretty well.

"I'll be honest, everyone who hears our music seems to either like it or love it—the responses have been really positive," Scharer says. "With each new success our fan base grows, whether it's more adds on Myspace or emails from people telling us how much they like our music, it all helps us get our name out there." - Metro Newspapers


Discography

Manchester School EP (2006)

Photos

Bio

“Belligerent ghouls run Manchester Schools…” – Morrissey

Manchester School – Term associated with a late 19th century movement in Manchester, England whose followers believed in free trade, peaceful relations between different peoples, and opposed war.

Manchester School – An indie rock band from San Jose, CA.

From San Jose, California, Manchester School combines a blend of indie rock, post-punk, and alternative rock to create their own distinct sound.

In the fall of 2004, Eric Bateman (drums) and Eric Scharer (bass) began to rehearse songs they had been working on. Things moved quickly and friend Kevin Rollis soon joined in on guitar and keyboard. After a year of writing and rehearsing over a dozen original songs, the search for a singer was finally over when Rick Alexander answered an ad posted at the band’s practice space to complete the band in late 2005. Rhythm guitarist Gabe Maciel was brought on in early 2007 on rhythm guitar.

Since its inception, the band has grown their loyal following and has graced the stage of a number of Bay Area venues, including The Blank Club, Hotel Utah, Starry Plough, and Britannia Arms. In September of 2006, the band released a self-titled E.P. of their five most popular songs and was featured in the Local Music Spotlight in Zero Magazine. This was followed up with a positive review in The Metro where Manchester School was featured as a Calendar Pick. Again, in 2007, the band was featured in Zero Magazine with a favorable CD review, proclaiming “this band is something to go mad about.” In May of 2007, the single "O.P.D." was chosen as a top-20 finalist out of over 230 submissions for Live105's BFD local band contest. In September of that year, Manchester School was voted as the Best Local Band by the staff and readers of the San Jose Metro.

In October, Rick and Manchester School parted ways. In early 2008, Anton Vladimirov joined as the new singer.

We are mainly influenced by bands of the past including, but not limited to, Joy Division, The Smiths, The Pixies, David Bowie, The Cure, and Suede.

Our live set usually leaves audiences stunned (in a good way) and wondering how five ordinary boys from San Jose create such fun and creative music. The answer to this, we do not have. We do what we do, and have a great time doing it!

To watch a video for the song O.P.D. and for more information, visit our MySpace at:

www.myspace.com/manchesterschool