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Mancunian Candidate biography
MANCUNIAN CANDIDATE is the project name and album by drummer/vocalist Matthew Swindells and marks his return to the world of progressive, melodic and symphonic rock.

Swindells, who hails from Manchester, England, now resides in San Francisco. He served as drummer and vocalist in the highly acclaimed progressive rock band Moth Vellum. Matthew has also previously collaborated with Matt Bissonette singing lead vocals on the bassist's 2004 release Raising Lazarus, which featured a Swindells original "Money in My Tea/In My Pockets." He was live tour drummer for electronic music pioneers Fila Brazillia and drummed, strummed and screamed on Fila's final opus Dix (2004).

Mancunian Candidate finds Matthew Swindells in the role of drummer, lead vocalist, keyboards/synths and acoustic guitar.

He is joined by the exceptionally talented Matthew Charles Heulitt (Moetar, Narada Michael Walden, Ziggabo Modeliste) and Johnny Heyes (Mica Paris, Tito Jackson, Errol Brown, Badbone & Co) on electric guitar.

The low-end is covered by a star-studded cast of bass players, with rumblings courtesy of Matt Bissonette (Elton John, David Lee Roth, Joe Satriani), Neil Fairclough (Queen & Adam Lambert), Jon Evans (Tori Amos, Sarah Mclauchlan), Ollie Collins (Black Rivers, Alan Parsons, Badly Drawn Boy) and long-time Swindells collaborator Andy Shepley. Mandolin is played by Jasper Wilkinson (I Am Your Autopilot).

Swindells's lyrics reference current world affairs but were inspired by a collection of short stories from the turn of the 19th century plus writings by Noam Chomsky and George Orwell.

The music was expertly recorded and mixed by bay area engineer/ producer Dan Feiszli at What's for lunch?studios and mastered by Michael Romanowski at coast mastering.

Jasper Wilkinson, Jon Evans and Matt Boudreau also provided additional engineering.

: : : Bio provided Matthew Swindells : : :

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3.00 | 2 ratings
Mancunian Candidate

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mancunian Candidate by MANCUNIAN CANDIDATE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.00 | 2 ratings

Mancunian Candidate
Mancunian Candidate Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Mancunian Candidate is a clever play on words , referring to the classic movie Manchurian Candidate , a thriller of the highest order, the original 1962 film featuring Sinatra, Leigh, Harvey and Lansbury, the newer one in 2004 with Denzel, Meryl, Liev and Voight. Both are wildly entertaining. Matthew Swindells , a former citizen of Manchester, England was the former drummer of Moth Vellum, a succesful US prog band that later morphed onto Perfect Beings . The drummer/vocalist presents a 14 song set, more in the lighter poppier vein than complex overt prog, with mounds of synths and mellotron, with a huge list of guest guitarists and bassists. There are tonal influences that range from classic Genesis, Yes and KC , to Rush, the Police and 10cc.

The disc kicks off with three brief ditties ''Garden Party'' is the owner of an overt the Police coating, what with the slashing guitars, the loopy bass and the slick drumming. Matthew has a voice that scours the higher registers, much like Eric Stewart, Sting or Jon Anderson. Its brisk pace is refreshing and astute. ''Secret of a Saint'' maintains the loftier pitch, but slows down into a wistful swirl of pastoral emotion, a true showcase of Matthew's vocal abilities (love the way he rolls his Rs), and lyrically condemning organized religion and cultism . ''The Water's Cold'' has a choppier beat, with some crazy synth work that elevates the rhythm even higher, all serving as a brightly paced intro into the world of Mancunian Candidate.

The real gem here is ''Operation Bright Star'' a 10 minute , 3-part suite that incorporates modern sounds that may recall recent Steve Wilson, Neil Fairclogh's pungent bass pushing things along smartly. The instrumental section (''AnimusDominusscrappedonfactor'') is thick, complex and eccentric, a twisting, turning, veering and diving into breakneck speed folly that pleases the ear and the attached mind, while the serene third part leads to ponderous piano musings that soothe the soul and a wrenching vocal. There is a definite clever feel here, the 10cc influence being strong and heady.

The nearly 7 minute ''Circle Lies Unbroken'' has an unmistakable Mahavishnu Orchestra like intro, before the voice urges onward, a definite Rush feel and a severe critique of unruly corporatism, a condition that permeates modern society that seems to skirt the edges of disaster. The music is playful and imaginative, the coarse lyrics direct and unapologetic. A slashing guitar solo adds drama and urgency.

War is always a good prog-rock subject, and Matthew attacks the cleverly titled ''Mongers Among Us'' with aplomb, the choppy Summers-Sting-Copeland feel very obvious, with nice high-pitched Sting influenced vocals. The bass burps like some machine gone awry, but the gentle rhythm is attacked by a swirly air-raid siren that keeps the edge honed.

The piano-led ''The Phoenix'' has a highly crafted arrangement that skirts the outer edges of jazz fusion, with some cleverly played synth and guitar interfaces, a blending of simplicity and complexity that is quite an achievement. The mood is thick and yet airy, highlighted by some blistering notes from guitarist matthew Charles Heulitt.

The colossal three part ''Too Much to Lose'' is a nearly 14 minute suite that focuses once again on human conflict, a jangly, slashing intro that is heavily syncopated emitting a clear 10cc/the Police feel, but way more choppy and obscure. Swindells' vocals are the bets yet, mellotron waves pushing the groove forward as the Matt Bissonette bass carves nicely with Heulitt doing some amazing licks that pirouette a la Jan Akkerman (jazzier version). This is the highlight of the album, giving the progfan an earful of sounds to ponder and enjoy. This culminates into the more bombastic 'Fanfare for the Damned' section that has a more sombre and brooding sound, the most progressive piece here.

The final nail is hammered in with ''Leslie's Friends'', a quirky finale that sums up the album perfectly, a fine first opus that has plenty to offer, especially in terms of soloing and instrumental display, opening the door to future releases with a more concentrated focus on diversity and perhaps even looking at a darker tone that might push this into even more eventful compositions.

3.5 Manchester options

 Mancunian Candidate by MANCUNIAN CANDIDATE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.00 | 2 ratings

Mancunian Candidate
Mancunian Candidate Crossover Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

3 stars Another new world of melodic pop music. MANCUNIAN CANDIDATE were founded as a music commune by the frontman / drummer / vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Matthew SWINDELLS with such a massive intention to create progressive rock blended with pop / catchy attachment. I guess his musical background would have owed to 70s golden-standard pop / rock mainly, and he's created material sincerely with his motivation, regardless of current progressive worldly matters. Therefore their debut eponymous creation is filled with purely pop-atmospheric movements, not using cheap "so-called progressive (aka porg)" tricks or strategies. So-called progressive rock fans cannot accept such an unblended element I'm afraid, but let me say that his / their sound vision might be approved enough in contemporary pop / rock scene.

Their sound is not so complicated enough for the audience in progressive rock world but delightful and brilliant. It's quite mysterious even complex, multi-rhythmic vibes with Neo-symphonic keyboard-oriented hints like "Anikusdominuscrappedonfactor" can be accepted straightly (and this is one of my faves honest to say :P). Matthew's plain voices along easy-listening melody lines remind me also of alternative rock around 2000 and this should be one of the reasons why we, middle-aged rock fan, can be immersed in his / their soundscape. This creation features 14 not-too-long tracks flooded with enjoyable instrumental plays and comfort, both of which were moistened with his / their pure emotion, intention for rock. Not enough progressive essence nor complicated, mysterious sensation in this stuff but I do hope everyone can bring in a verdict of favour for Mancunians.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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