The Manatees -- Snackin' With (Orange Recordings 2001)
by Randy Krbechek
Here's one I didn't see coming. Hailing from Seattle, The Manatees have a psychedelic beach sound, complete with theremin and wave-breaking surf guitar. Eighteen tracks of guitar-oriented instrumental rock, carrying on the proud tradition of The Ventures, Link Wray, and Dick Dale. How can you go wrong?
Our heroes arose from the ashes of Seattle's own, The Dehumanizers. The foursome consists of Phil Manatee on guitars, theremin, and lap steel, Ed Manatee on drums and percussion, Mark Manatee on guitars, and Dan Manatee on bass.
You can tell these guys are heading places when you learn that Phil Manatee played bass for the "Vampire Lezbos." Another amazing fact: The Manatees played at Mark Manatee's children's elementary school in 1999; Mark performed as a bunny, Ed was a wizard, Dan dressed as a devil, and Phil played the clown.
But enough about their storied pedigree. The jam comes with the music, from the surf sound of "The Model" through the bouncy surf sound of "El Manatee" through the surf-pounding, "Instant Curry."
Yes, my friends, there you have it: surf guitar rock, in all its glory. Hang ten with Snackin' With.
And in true DIY style, The Manatees boast that "the recording of this album took place in a dark and musty garage affectionately known as 'the Collaboratory,' over three days with no one song performed more than three times. What you hear is the real Manatees."
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-- Randy Krbechek