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White Manna

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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White Manna Ape on Sunday album cover
3.05 | 2 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ape on Sunday (7:10)
2. Spirit of St. Louis (6:19)
3. O Captain (3:34)
4. Night in Lisbon (3:55)
5. Eye in the Cloud That Serves as Thunder (5:52)
6. Zodiak Spree (5:03)
7. More More More (3:03)

Total Time 34:56

Line-up / Musicians

- David Johnson / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Anthony Taibi / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Michael Dieter / synths
- Johnny Webb / bass
- Tavan Anderson / drums, vocals

- Andy DuVall / performer
- Dominic Tavola / performer

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: John Vochatzer

CDr Cardinal Fuzz ‎ (2019, UK)

LP Cardinal Fuzz ‎- CFUL0140 (2019, UK)

Digital album

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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WHITE MANNA Ape on Sunday ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WHITE MANNA Ape on Sunday reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars White Manna is a psychedelic/space rock band out of California. The band consider the northern California land of the Redwoods to be one of the major inspirations for their music. The album "Ape on Sunday" is their 6th full length album and was released in June of 2019. The album was influenced by a tragic occurrence in front man David Johnson's life, and he had to spend time away from the band while much of the music was being recorded. When Dave returned, the album was able to be finished.

The album is inspired by the poetry of Robert Zimmerman, specifically from his book "Tarantula". The album is made up of 7 tracks with a total run time of just under 35 minutes. It is available digitally, on vinyl and on CD. The line up consists of David Johnson on guitar, keyboards and vocals; Johnny Webb on bass; Anthony Taibi on guitar, vocals and keyboards; Tavan Anderson on drums and vocals; and Michael Dieter on synths.

The album starts off with "Ape on Sunday", the title track. At over 7 minutes in duration, it begins with a definite space rock vibe that sound like it came right out of the 70's. The drums immediately establish the trance-like beat while guitars and keys provide a fuzzy and translucent sound with a lot of effects. The vocals come in with a hypnotic, echo-y sound, pushed a bit to the back of the mix, while the guitars play with feedback and a thick wall of fuzz. The synth also improvises with high tones and effects piercing through the heavy and thick sound of the guitars. There is an element of experimental sound with the layered sounds sometimes making some dissonant clashes and the improvised effects. After 5 minutes, the vocals return, but stay buried in the fuzz with a mish mash of sound that is as unclear as the album art.

"Spirit of St. Louis" features the tickety-tick of percussion and a slower rhythm, but heavier in the fuzz and even less coherent as the previous track and is also instrumental. The music swirls with layered synth and a growling guitar the pushes through the haze. Little shafts of sunlight in the form of the synth shine through the otherwise hazy texture provided by the layers of sound. The music remains steady through it's 6 minute run time, but the rhythm section gets lost at the 5 minute mark and the music takes on the sound of psychedelic wanderings. This track flows into the next track "O Captain" which utilizes organ and other keys that also present a descending riff that repeats. Some heavy unfocused guitar comes in and escorts in the indecipherable vocals. The guitar backs off again as the drone-like sound of the organ and keys continue with drums pushing things forward slowly.

"Night in Lisbon" begins much heavier with a lot more fuzz, but very little percussion. Vocals also start early, but, as in the other tracks, remains covered in heavy instrumental layers. "Eye in the Cloud that Serves as Thunder" begins with less of a wall of noise, at least at first, and establishes the moderate rhythm while the instruments boil under the surface and slowly become heavier as the layers build. Little glimmers of structure shine through, but never really catch hold as the psychedelic fog continue to swirl. The rhythm remains constant while the wall of sound continues to build and finally takes over with screechy and brassy sounds lie deep in the mix.

"Zodiak Spree" emerges from the chaos of the end of the previous track and brings on a much needed break from the layered sound, being a bit more ambient sounding. Atmospheric synths and keys provide a drone-like feeling while a jangly guitar chords sound out softly. Things quiet down even more as the drone changes, a very subdued percussive sound plays down deep and the guitars start to emerge above the drone, but remain quite atmospheric. This is a nice cool down track after the thick heaviness of the rest of the album. The album ends with "More More More" (not an Abba cover). This track brings back the space rock sound and with it comes a heaviness and processed vocals, again deep in the mix. As it continues, the sounds become not so hazy as the guitar becomes more prominent, then the drums come crashing in creating a stir for a minute and then it all backs off and slowly fades.

This album is definitely full of hazy and trance inducing music. The separate layers prevent any instrument or voice from standing out above anything as thick, textural soundscapes are created. Even the vocals don't carry much of a distinguishable melody, as is the intention here. The music is pure psychedelia with some tracks creating a space rock style full of effects and submerged improvisational wandering throughout. The album is a bit short, but is probably the perfect dose for casual listening. However, not much is allowed to stand out here, so you definitely get the expected old psychedelic sound you expect that is very trance-like.

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