ARTIST: Manon Meurt 

RELEASE: MMXVIII

RELEASE DATE: October 12th 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Minority Records 

Manon Meurt hail from Rakovník west of Prague. Inspired by the British shoegaze movement of the early 1990’s and bands such as Ride, Lush and Slowdive, this impressive four piece have managed to collectively merge those impressive early scene shoegaze sounds with a modern edge to create something altogether mesmerising.  Their self-titled 12″ EP was released back in 2014 to glowing reviews, garnering serious attention from the underground faithful thus leading to a re-release through the Canadian-based independent record label – Label Obscura. The band are made up of  Vojtěch Pejša – guitar/vocal, Káťa Elznicová – vocals/guitar, Jiří Bendl – drums and David Tichý – synths/piano. ‘MMXVIII’, the band’s highly anticipated debut long player, was officially released back on October 12th 2018 via Minority Records and is available to buy/download on various formats from both store.minorityrecords.com & manonmeurt.bandcamp.com respectively.

Glistening swirls of atmospheric piano melded with twinkling lines of guitar announce the arrival of ‘Circle’, the opening salvo on this album. Haunting vocalisations float into view, hugging layers of ethereal reverberation that clings effortlessly to lulling tones and golden frequencies as electronic samples pull duel lines of vocal into the mix and that catchy chorus progression takes hold. ‘Circle’ builds brilliantly, twisting and turning at times into this kind of semi-industrial dream-gaze albeit without percussion. It’s a marvellous opening track. Up next, ‘We Are’ explodes into a wall of blissed out beautiful noise. Layers of reverberating guitars loop and arc through clouds of thunderous percussion as swells of synth and the throb of bass frequencies usher in a fantastic vocal assault. This track has it all, catchy chord sequences, rolling percussion, magnificent instrumental break, uplifting guitars and haunting vocalisations making it a stand out track on this release. ‘Figure It Out’ twangs into existence on a repetitive line of guitar before shimmering lines of vocal and the updraft of instrumental swells add intense atmosphere. The shuddering percussion and twinkle of piano are immense here but it’s that huge cyclonic break with it’s lines of backward guitar accompanying that soaring vocal that carry this track skywards.

‘An Excuse To Hurt’ unfurls it’s warm sonic tendrils strapped to an instrumental drone as intense atmospherics and wide scoped reverb usher in a cutting line of vocal. Shimmering swells of instrumentation lend themselves to a wonderful build as those swooshing drones break the eerie silence and we’re pulled into a sonic dream state …. floating in stasis …. until eventually we’re catapulted out into a huge break more akin to post-rock than dreamy shoegaze. ‘An Excuse To Hurt’ is absolutely beautiful and another album highlight for me. Up next, ‘Neon’ tumbles into audible range on a low rumbling drone before busy percussion pulls the growl of guitar into a massive wall of noise and we’re trapped inside a melodious ball of shimmering joy. The vocal track here is stunning and it’s woozy whammy bar guitar accompaniment fits in rather well when squeezed into those explosive attacks of percussion. With breaks to die for and that slow moving heavy instrumental assault towards the end, ‘Neon’ is another impressive track to listen out for. ‘LXXVIII’ floats into view on a swells of synth, jangling guitars and the metronomic thud of drums. Melody filled vocals ebb and flow in and out of the instrumentation here, drenched in shimmering reverb and clinging to the rise and fall of instrumental progressions. There’s a subtle build that bubbles up from below the mix, proceeded by a beautifully ethereal rush of vocals and the woozy flush of effected guitars that leads us into a fantastically bluesy lead break and on into the tracks melody strewn finale.

‘Lighthouse’, the albums penultimate piece, bellows into existence on an atmospheric line of piano before a blissfuly surreal vocal hovers with an updraft carried by winds of reverb. Slow moving metronomic percussion arrive accompanied by the twinkling of piano as the vocals rise and fall beautifully. We pause momentarily here, trapped in the haze of vocal and an instrumental poise before pulsing again through deep clouds of ethereal dream-pop melded with sequenced electronics. The album closes out with ‘Song Of The Sea’, a bruising slow burner that throbs on lines of catchy chord changes and the hum of bass frequencies. Blissful vocals arrive, clinging to the instrumentation with ease before we’re teased by a partial break thats cut short by an angry refrain of guitar until we dive headlong into layers of reverberation and a twist of experimentation. It’s an absolutely huge track that ends on a massive high, closing out another amazing release by a band who can do no wrong.

5/5

LINKS:

manonmeurt.bandcamp.com

Minority Records

instagram.com/manonmeurt/

twitter.com/ManonMeurt

facebook.com/manonmeurt/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  – Primal Radio –  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.