The Manvils
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The Manvils


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"The Manvils - Buried Love"

The highlights on Buried Love add up to a real feast. The oohs on Bible Billy(which could be from Rust Never Sleeps); the oohs on most of the songs, as a matter of fact; the elastic riff that powers Between the Lashes, the new wavey Undertow wherin vocalist Mike Manvilles croon falls somewhere between Richard Butler and a cock rock Morrissey sponsored by Schneiders Hot Rods. Missing You made me think of the Gun Club. Vancouver is full of amazing rock bands all of a sudden, and these guys are the dark horse who will probably get their due when its too late, but make no mistake: Buried Love deserves huge raves. Im raving. The band has precious chemistry and the frontman is ridiculous. Plus, the cover is insane. - Nerve Magazine

"Vancouver Buzz"

Another worthy listen is The Manvils' latest '70s-inspired guitar-o-rama, Buried Love. It was recorded in various sessions with Terry "Sho of Sho-Core" Murray and Jay "Spitfires" Solyom at the boards and is a hell of an album. The band fall somewhere between Kula Shaker and The Stooges and are cranking out some great stuff. - Chart Attack

"Music that makes you remember why you love music"

I don’t know how The Manvils do it, but they do. Unlike acid-wash jeans, this Vancouver-bred dirty rock group could easily slide into any one of the past four decades and no one could say they’d be at all out of line. That’s not to say The Manvils don’t possess any denim-esque qualities – even after multiple uses, their songs are tightly woven and fit perfectly.

Releasing their first full-length album under the helpful wing of The Spitfires’ Jay Solyom, The Manvils are a fresh face on the North American garage rock scene and definite proof that you can teach new dogs old tricks. From the opening track “Missing You,” to the closer “Crowded Room,” the action-packed 44.7 minutes of “Buried Love” is a spicy rockabilly highway that picks up friends along the way and has more parties than is advisable. Singer Mikey Manville ties all of the melodic licks and stone-solid drums together with a voice that could inspire just as many riots as The Clash’s Joe Strummer did back when none of The Manvils existed. Thank god for reincarnation. - Youthink

"Manvils hammer it home"

When Manvils frontman Mike Manville and lead guitarist Mark Parry show up for an interview at the Georgia Straight, only one of them looks ready to rock. The woolly brown sweater Manville’s chosen for the occasion doesn’t seem stage-worthy, but—resplendent in a pinstriped blazer set off by a scarf and a Mods button straight outta Brighton—Parry has the U.K. pub-rocker look down pat. Toss him a top hat and he’d look like he stepped off the London Quireboys’ tour bus, circa 1984.

Parry moved here from Wales in early 2004 and spent nine months searching for a band that could benefit from his rough ’n’ tumble guitar style. While studying Web design and multimedia at UBC, he tried out for a few groups, but the auditions led nowhere. Then he received a fateful call from Rogers Video regarding a DVD order. “I got this message on my phone one day sayin’, ‘Oh, your Stars Wars trilogy has just arrived.’ So I go in and this guy [Manville] says: ‘You look like you might be into some good music, where are you from’ When I told him I was from Wales he goes ‘Super Furry Animals!’, so I was real impressed that he’d actually heard of a band from Wales.”

With Winnipeg-bred bassist Greg Fuhr and drummer Andy “Chilliwack” Mac already lined up, Parry was the last element in the rock machine Manville was priming for world domination. And the quartet gelled from the get-go. “The first time the band ever played we just started on a blues riff,” recalls Manville, “and it turned into a 35-minute song. When we were done I was like, ‘So, are you guys in?’ and two weeks later we played our first show.”

Like Parry, Manville is a relative newcomer to Vancouver. He moved here from Hogtown in 2000 and embarked on a solo career. “I did tours and gigs from here to Nashville,” he explains of his pre-Manvils period, “and it was what needed to be done to bring what has happened now to fruition. The five years of singing on your own basically teaches you how to control your voice, and how to keep your mental stamina up.”

Manville’s staying power, along with his manic on-stage persona, has helped make his group a contender on the local indie-rock scene. That promise is embodied by the Manvils’ debut CD, Buried Love, which will be showcased at a Honey Lounge release party on Saturday (April 15). Recorded in two separate sessions by producers Jay Solyom and Terry Murray, the 10-track CD is an in-your-face boogie-blues blast with an old-school bent. “We’ve been compared to the Stones and the Yardbirds,” notes Parry, “but personally I don’t think we sound like any of those bands. I grew up listening to the Jam, the Kinks, the Small Faces, and when I listen to the record and I can hear bits and bobs of my influences in there—as much as I can hear bits and bobs of everybody else’s influences.”

Adds Manville: “For myself it was like from Tom Petty back to Johnny Cash, and even older Americana stuff. So it’s like this blend of complete British psych-rock mixed with old American country. But, you know, it’s got a helluva lot less country in it.”

Whatever its roots, the Manvils’ raucous sound has won raves from alternative media sources like the Nerve, which earned the music mag a shout-out in Buried Love’s liner notes. “As a new band, you need someone in the scene telling you that they like what you’re doing,” cites Manville. “The Nerve wrote us up shortly after we had played our third or fourth show, and we couldn’t believe the applause that they were giving us.”

The quartet has also been encouraged by some high-profile opening gigs, like when they warmed up for Stereophonics at the Commodore last year. As inspiring as that supporting slot was, though, it could have led to the demise of the fruitful Manville-Parry partnership. A week after the show Parry received a call from Stereophonics’ manager, saying the Welsh trio was looking for another guitarist to help out on its world tour. “The bastards tried to steal Mark!” blurts out Manville, although Parry wasn’t swayed by the offer. “Walkin’ into an established band like that you’re just gonna end up bein’ a session musician,” he says, “and you’re not gonna be able to put your own flavour into it. With this band, I really believe that we’ve got something, that we can go places. The Manvils are number one.” - The Georgia Straight

"The Manvils CD Release Party"

Girls were screaming, hands on face, giggling, jumping, jiggling, screaming, wavering, dancing throwing panties on the stage. It was like the second coming of Elvis or the Beatles. The guys were all staring, dumbfounded. Mikey Manville pulled one of them dramatic, show-offy flailing arm guitar strums; a girl in the front row faints. Three more take her place. The whole band was in high form. Electric... The new messiah of rock n roll. What charisma. What style. See those white, leather boots? Thats what Im talkin about. The Second Coming.. I have never seen a room filled with so many hot, sexy women and hot, sexy rocknroll as this one. Ten bucks got you in, along with a souvenir copy of the silvery rock gem that is Buried Love It was no wonder the place was wall to wall; a crotch to ass, drunken rock orgy. Everyone seemed high, the walls were shaking between songs from the techno-bass bleeding in from next door, and I had my hand on some strange girls ass. It was a good night. - The Nerve Magazine

"The Manvils Open for Stereophonics"

It's been some time since an opening band has played to a crowd near full capacity at the Commodore Ballroom. What made the Manvils' set more remarkable is how they're still new to the local scene.
Not only did they have solid songs and a distinct sound - think Velvet Underground and Rolling Stones offset with a strong blues touch - they also boasted a great stage presence. Comparisons to the Kings of Leon and the Strokes aren't justified: the Manvils have stronger songwriting than the Kings of Leon and Mikey Manville's gritty vocal delivery and stage antics make him a more compelling frontman than the Strokes' Julian Casablancas. - North Shore News

"Concert Reviews"

Combining sugar-buzzed power pop with shots of blues-exploded rawk and psychobilly country, the Manvils can take credit for getting the crowd revved up. The street-level buzz on these guys grows every week, and the group showed why. Keep an eye on these guys—there’s a good reason everyone is talking. - The Georgia Straight

"Buried Love"

Considering the wealth of under-produced and occasionally underwhelming indie pop emerging from Canada these days, it’s almost a relief to hear a band like Vancouver’s the Manvils turn up their amps, throw a few high kicks and just, you know, rock. Boasting a throwback ’60s blues attack that’s all swaggering licks and soaring, throaty wails, Buried Love is packed with the kind of self-assured strut rock that’s been shaking the dust loose from the roof beams of seedy, beer-by-the-glass house band joints across the country for decades and damned if it doesn’t sound like a good time. A notably top-heavy effort, standouts come in the first five tracks with “Between the Lashes,” which seems guaranteed to drag even the drunkest party girl to the dance floor with it monstrous, string-bending riff and Cadillac Tramps-esque hoots and hollers, as well as the stand-and-sway heartbroken lament of “Bible Billy.” Things taper off as the album wears on, however, filling up space with forgettable snoozers like “Over These Hills” and the Headstones-infused “Can You Feel Me” before culminating in the whale-sized, eight-minute blues jam of the title track. While Buried Love might try your patience every once in a while with its indulgences, it’s nonetheless a confident and promising debut.

By Chris Boutet
September 07, 2006 - Exclaim! Magazine

"The Manvils: Brian Jonestown After Party"

The Manvils are an easy combination of cool-drippings and shit-hot-rockings. And Manville himself is a mover + shaker to say the least. He's a tall, lithe guy with limbs that stretch to infinity, and those limbs are just about breaking the walls down with his danceaholic energy. He skitters around on stage, knocking into stuff, shimmying up to his band mates, leading clap-alongs and eventually throwing himself into the audience in a heap and just letting everyone catch him. - Chord Magazine

"Buried Love"

Everything about these guys is big - like if they were a porch, there'd be enough room there for the entire plumbers' local 332 and a couple of kitchen sinks. A pair of guitars, piano, thumpy drums and the kind of singer who does all his singing with his lips. This Vancouver quartet goes from atmospheric "thinking about breaking up with my girlfriend" kind of mellow billowy songwriting, to "thinking about breaking up with myself" freight train blues smokestacks in the clear blue sky sort of rhythms. There's something about them that makes me think of Not Your Soldier Anymore-era Deadly Snakes, 'cause they're hard to pin down, but end-to-end the songs are all pretty catchy. - Ottawa Xpress


Self Titled - LP - TBA in 2009 on Sandbag Records

Buried Love - LP - Released in Stores April 2007
Strange Disaster - EP - Released April 2007

In May of 2005 having only been together for 6 months, The Manvils opened for the UK based band Stereophonics to a sold out crowd in Vancouver. Stereophonics expressed great interest in taking the band on the road with them in the future.

Shortly after this show, Lead Guitarist Mark Parry was invited by Stereophonics front man; Kelly Jones to join Stereophonics as their second guitarist for their world tour.

The band appeared on the front page of the popular Canadian fashion/Music magazine ION in the April 2006 edition and guitarist Mark Parry was featured in the May 2006 edition.

In September of 2006, the band were awarded the "Best Vancouver Band 2006" by The Georgia Straight Newspaper.

The Songs Between The Lashes & The Pretty Bleed have been regularly played on the radio in Canada and the U.S.A

The Manvils songs are featured on the CBC documentary film, "Moscow Freestyle" which received a Humanity Award at the 2006 Red Shift Festival in New York.

The Manvils were featured on the popular TV Series 'O.C.T.V' which aired on the KVOS Television Network. Their performance was aired at the Season 2 finale.

In the 2006 Horror Movie 'The Grudge 2' starring Sarah Michelle Geller, a poster of The Manvils can be seen displayed in the Teenagers Bedroom.

The Manvils were featured performing in the 2007 'Guitar Builder' Budweiser Commercial which was played during the Superbowl, during The NHL Hockey Playoffs and countless times on North American Television.

The Manvils are featured on the Much Music show 'Going Coastal'. The bands live concert was filmed in Vancouver and front-man Mikey Manville was interviewed for the show.

In 2008 Several of The Manvils songs were used in the Horror Movie 'Never Cry Werewolf'.

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There's a ringing majesty to "Turpentine", the first single from the Manvils’ new self-titled album. It comes in with a magnetic little flourish from Mike Manville’s white, 1956 Gibson Les Paul Jr., a beefy double-time beat and chiming wall of guitar, and the kind of covertly brilliant chorus that REM used to manufacture out of thin air.

In total, the song comes clad in echoes of all your favourites, from the Clash to the Who. "I really wanted to start the record with something that had the best characteristics of the Manvils," says vocalist-guitarist-songwriter Manville. "The psychedelia, the blues, screaming guitars, and big drums."

It's a decisive and muscular way to start a record, and with expectations this high, it oughta be. The Manvils' 2006 debut Buried Love cemented the reputation of the Vancouver-based four-piece after barely a year of explosive live performances. In a city notorious for its self-loathing, the Manvils struck a rare chord, eventually achieving the unthinkable with a sold-out release party at one of the city's most auspicious mid-sized venues for the 2007 EP Strange Disaster.

And the song "Strange Disaster" shows up again on The Manvils, in an altogether more confident and sinewy form. The advances made by the band in the last year are writ large in its flawless pulse and corrosive guitar work - due mainly to the introduction of drummer Jay Koenderman in late 2007 and a generally re-doubled work ethic on the part of everybody else. And Manville found a perfect foil in producer Ryan Dahle, who earlier was struck by the raw Manvil talent before finally bringing them home to Vancouver's Factory and recRoom studios.

"There was no way around working your ass off on this record because of Ryan Dahle," Manville states. “Practicing and songwriting every day, for eight months. We lived in this world where the only thing that mattered was the songs."

Out of Dahle's boot camp - songs were perfected, deconstructed, and built up all over again - comes the great leap forward of The Manvils, where the production is bright, tasteful, and loud enough to rattle all the right inner-ear bones, and the playing is textured and imaginative. Everybody is on point for The Manvils, starting with an implacable rhythm section that can sit in the pocket without ever leaning on the obvious, like in the swaggering 16ths of album opener "Good Luck Club". Or they can go wide, with bassist Greg Buhr lacing yawning counter-melodies throughout "Hollow Hands", and drummer Koenderman bringing the otherwise deliberate "Guillotine" to a boiling tumult of snare, toms, and violence.

In guitar world, Manville and his comrade Mark Parry go candy-store on The Manvils. "True Believers" brackets its lighter-than-air, Eagles-inspired choruses and quasi-Dylanesque poetics with a bruiser’s catalogue of anguished metallic sounds. By Manville's own reckoning, "Substation" is "Smithsy", thanks to Parry's inspired contribution. "It's very distinctive," Manville declares. "That's when you hear the Brit side of the band, and then it gets into a fight with the Americana voice."

In the gorgeous "Riverside", a keening guitar hook drifts in and out of the song, drenching atmosphere on Manville's curious references to science magazines and skeletons. Underneath the enigma, it's a love song to Mikey's wife, and in its autumnal feel the closest thing to Canadiana that the songwriter has ever come up with. "This is an important record for us and there's no more important person to me," Manville asserts. "And every rock 'n' roll album has to have a great love song. That's what I think."

"The Stoker" offers heraldic guitar riffs, "la la la" choruses, and more sideways hooks, which Manville characterizes as "Byrds-meets-Motorhead-meets-Thin Lizzy-meets-the Clash". It's the upbeat yin to the minatory yang of album closer "Passport", which sees Manville's cohorts haul out the melodrama for his ominous rumination on trouble every day, piling out of an extraordinary record with a deliciously melodic psyche out.

It's 35 minutes of deft, intelligent, passionate rock 'n' roll, and a triumph for everyone concerned.

"A bright energy exists in every corner of this record,” Manville says. “In every chorus, and every verse. Each time I hear it, still, it overwhelms me with how proud I am of these guys, and how dedicated Ryan was. They took these songs, that were written on acoustic guitar in the my living room, and they were transformed into something that I'm gonna be proud of for a very, very long time."