White Manna - White Manna
By: Rob Gannon
You get the impression the White Manna four-piece might think this release an EP. It’s only five tracks long after all, but these new-age Californians produce the sort of meditative psyche/space-rock where conventional time is largely irrelevant. It matters little then that they’ve a running time of just less than 40 minutes for at times it seems like 15, and at others perhaps a week.
Announcing themselves with vague and druggy fuzz, they then lollop around smearing the “Acid Head” jam out into cosmic solos, periodic swells and appropriately hands-off vocals. The monolithic riff looping on “Keep Your Lantern Burning” is more in line with label-mate chug-monsters Wooden Shjips and the track’s huge pedal effects and searching guitar spotlights prove very welcome dressing for this G-force rock that drags at the cheeks at its races past at warp speed.
There’s then a confrontational sneer to “Mirror Sky” in which psyche-rock meets American punk before the former wins out smashing worlds together in dense palettes of repetition. The red mist clears for “Don’t Gun Us Down”, but it’s swiftly replaced with a mysterious swirl that simmers for three atmospheric minutes before cruising back into classic outdoorsy psyche that takes as much from the vintage spaces of The Doors as it does the claustrophobic repeats of Black Angels, for example.
Uncommon to the psychedelic sound, the epic closer “Sweet Jesus” houses a certain swagger that brings to mind The Stooges, but the track’s melting chimes and suffocating instrumentals reek so strongly of the herb that the hedonistic, war-mongering blowout is joyously inevitable. Quite what Jesus himself would make of it all is anyone’s guess, but mine is that is he’d freaking love it.
Advised downloads: “Keep Your Lantern Burning” and “Sweet Jesus”.
White Manna is out now on Holy Mountain .