So, Manhattan Coast have emerged from the Welsh Valleys, equipped with a couple of tunes in their clutches and an eye on the mainstream. There’s sugary sweet song writing, fake American accents and a vapid manufactured air enveloping the sound of their latest EP, ‘This One’s For You’. Should be huge then.
If you’ve been paying attention to the influx of young rock bands diluting the British rock scene over the past two years, then you’ll know the score here. ‘This One’s For You’ is serviceable, pop punk-flecked rock, predisposed for mid-size venues packed with screaming pre-teens; the kind of offensively generic and bland music that wouldn’t have survived before the days of easy music sharing and social media. It’s rock that doesn’t rock.
Sure, frontman Nick Lane lets loose a little on ‘Monsoon In Machine City’, coming within inches of singing a word with conviction. ‘War On The Weekend’ has a chorus that may find its way onto the surface of your consciousness somewhere, but between fleeting, glimmering points of potential, there is overwhelming mediocrity.
But, there’s an audience for this. For people riding the wave of homogenised rock that has been finding popularity on these shores but begrudge the occasional rawness bands like Mallory Knox and Young Guns are capable of bringing to the table, Manhattan Coast are perfect. This is baby’s first rock band; no sharp edges, no speed, fear, ferocity or danger. It isn’t bad music. There are saccharine melodies and the “wa-oh” gang vocal quota is satisfactorily reached. What Manhattan Coast have produced here is non-music. Music that evaporates from the memory the moment it has ended. Music that has nothing to say and nothing to contribute
With their cookie-cutter sound, cutesy artwork and entirely inoffensive presence, don’t be too surprised to see Manhattan Coast climbing in the popularity stakes of the British rock scene. Just excuse me while I shed a tear for music with substance.
Written by Grant Bailey