Review of White Manna – Live Frequencies LP on Cardinal Fuzz (CFUL037)

White Manna
Live Frequencies is the result of 2 soundboard recordings from the Liverpool Psych Fest weekend in the autumn of 2013. And I’m very grateful, because those of us who were not in attendance can share these epic performances. I get the feeling you will need to be fairly quick though, this is a 500 press limited edition bootleg style LP which I’m sure will sell fast. It is available from Cardinal Fuzz online shop
White Manna have a great sound and are an excellent live act as demonstrated on this LP. They have a great psych sound at their core which they blend with a rock / punk riffing intensity which gives their sound an explosive burst. It’s expertly done too, they always maintain a great balance across their songs which often have a great ebb and flow. The LP also highlights White Manna’s talents by having contrasting versions of some of the songs.
E Shra (Stengade) opens with a jangly guitar against a swirling wind type of sound. This sets the scene for a great chilled vibe. Percussion enters to give momentum and tension builds slowly as the guitar solo becomes more intense. An excellent opening track.
Acid Head (Le Kalif) opens with feedback leading into a great riff. There is a good contrast against the first track. The song has a great groove backed by a tight rhythm section. The vocal style suits the song really well. This song has a great ebb and flow feel to it, a great combination of momentum with riff/rhythm and free flowing vocal style.
Evil (Le Kalif) opens with an intense punk riffing and lead guitar and the vocals follow in a similar style. This is a really uptempo song which builds tension to a crescendo, releases it then builds it again and is released at the end of the song.
X Ray (Le Kalif) has a great opening riff and groove against a background swirling type of effect and has an almost lilting feel. The vocals really complement the style having an ethereal feel. Tension builds and releases really well through the song, building into a frenzied crescendo towards the end of the song.
I’m Comin’ Home (Le Kalif) opens with a solid rhythm and lead line and has quite a driving feel. The vocals have an urgency and create a great tension. Again there is a great ebb and flow between a driving rhythm / groove and more laid back feel.
Sweet Jesus (Le Kalif) opens with great riffing and tight rhythm. The vocals have an urgency which maintains momentum. There are great background effects and soloing. The song has a very nice release of tension midway through the song leading to a half time sort of feel which quickly builds pace with a solo which rounds out the song.
G Shra (Le Kalif) opens with sparse feedback / neck sounds into more of a lead line accompanied by bass. There are some great background effects too. There’s a really good interaction between 2 guitars. The song develops a groove against the solo and background elements, creating a really good tension against the groove.
Evil (Stengade) there is a slightly different feel to the opening of this version having more of a swirling background sound and different tone. It still has an uptempo feel with great soloing building tension nicely through the song, releasing for a brief spell before building a final crescendo and release.
X Ray (Stengade) this is a slightly slower version and has a great groove against background sound effects. The vocals sit more in the background initially as this version features an organ providing a lead line and background sound effects. There is a great contrast between the two versions and a nice change of tempo towards the end, building a similar frenzied crescendo.
Sweet Jesus (Stengade) feedback opens this version which is slightly slower but still has great momentum. This version features an organ which suits the song really well. There is a similar release to a half time sort of feel building pace with a solo to round out the song.