The Manvils

The Manvils


Established in 2005, The Manvils have sparked the Vancouver rock n' roll music scene with their unparalled and intense live show. At the WCMA's in Moose Jaw, critic Fraser Wareham sums up The Manvils wild performance; "It is without a doubt my belief they were the best band I've seen at the WCMA’s.


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."


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'.

Other Links:


Set List



Strange Disaster

Good luck Club


The Stoker

True Believers

Hollow Hands

For a Few Dollars More