LAS MAŅANITAS - Neo Pop Orient

Las Maņanitas - Neo Pop Orient

10 songs
54:28 minutes
***** ***


After an EP and a full-length CD, Neo Pop Orient is the third release of Las Maņanitas, a five-piece from Leipzig. Actually the new CD was scheduled to come out already in 2006 but was then delayed for two years. The wait is over and was well worth it. Wüstende was anything but bad, but Neo Pop Orient sounds much more mature than its predecessor.

Neo Pop Orient is not a rehashing of their past, as the band claims to have switched the pitchforks for disco balls. This means that the banjo is used less and the organ more than in the past. Even when the opener Disco 3000 invites to dance because of its cool groove, the band still sounds quite melancholic. Comparisons with Blumfeld, Tocotronic and Die Sterne makes sense, even though Las Maņanitas are not a diskurs pop band, as they are much too varied to be put into one shelf only. SSP for instance reminds of a hung over Tom Waits, Freaktheater comes with mariachi horns, the quiet Jazz-Bar lives up to its name, and Taxi nach Calais sounds like an invitation to a ship cruise. With running times ranging from one and a half minutes to eight minutes, Las Maņanitas manage to deliver the most varied song material, and even the longer pieces don’t suffer from excess length.

The German lyrics are on the same high level as the music, giving the impression that the band’s lyricist is quite a poet. His quiet ironic take at making fun of society has something of Sven Regener.

Neo Pop Orient is an album for connoisseurs who like to take some time out to enjoy every note and syllable on the album. Only this allows you to appreciate Leipzig’s self-styles surf beat country band to the fullest.

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