The Immediate : Manbuoy
16th June 2017
The Immediate are Adam Walton (guitar/vocals), Richard Harrison (bass/vocals) and Duncan Farmer (drums/vocals) - and this is their second life, as they originally split in 1996, "... due to frustration, an argument over a mouth organ and the success of Stereophonics".
Following on from a couple of successful EPs since they were reborn, this is an album of helter skeltering power pop - the music fires like a pinball between moments of garage, indie and pop familiarity, ranging everywhere from The Who to Hüsker Dü and all points between, but is never derivative. In plain truth this is a band made to bashfully share a stage with its heroes, not to look on from the side.
Energised opening track Not Shabby is full of ricocheting guitar and vocals corralled by melody - and that's the gateway to just shy of an hour of music into which is artfully compressed half a lifetime of joy and regret. The very first line of the Not Shabby, "I'm lightening in a flask", captures the sense throughout of energy trapped and harnessed.
As an album it is barely out of the traps when Pockets, Sodium and What?s The Matter Kevin Jones? - a song about school contemporaries from their home town of Mold who did not make it into their thirties - offer an exhilarating early album run of accomplishment; the latter especially heartfelt and bluntly powerful. Sometimes the vibrant indie heart of the record fleetingly sparks very specific musical memories: in a clear instance the sound of This Suffocation grazes that of New Model Army (circa 1990's Impurity), but the song itself transcends any fragmentary association - it is vivid and alive in its own dense verses and stomping chorus.
Manbuoy closes with the understated Postcards - with a gentle acoustic guitar winding its way around a wistful lyric "We should go to some beautiful places, and send postcards to the folks back home", and the urge to go back to the start and listen again is irresistible - Manbuoy itself is a place you want to stay; a happy, intoxicated Friday night with close friends in a back street pub where no-one would ever be sick on your shoes.
On their Mold EP release notes The Immediate stated: "There is more truth and resonance in our songs now than ever before. And power. And invention. We write songs about hope and love in the face of the moribund, daily grind." - on this recorded evidence it is a fully realised manifesto: Manbuoy is an unexpected power pop revelation.
Manbuoy will be available on CD and digitally from The Immediate's Bandcamp on 16.06.17
THE IMMEDIATE I Manbuoy
THE IMMEDIATE I Not Shabby