MANFISH - What Is This Manfish?

Manfish - What Is This Manfish?

12 songs
28:21 minutes
***** **
Freetime Trash


At a first glance, Finland may be an unlikely location for punk bands, but the more erudite punk aficionados are certainly aware of the country’s respectable crust community, and then there is of course Matti Antero Kristian Fagerholm, better known as Michael Monroe, who nearly single-handedly revived glam with his band Hanoi Rocks in the early Eighties.

Manfish are a young punk band who have partly inherited the latter’s aura, and mix it up with garagy glam punk la New York Dolls. This is anything but contemporary sounding, but then I don’t expect that his was the intention in the first place. Manfish are mostly about having fun, as becomes instantly obvious with the opener Die Hippie. They play this kind of proto punk with a strong garage feeling and occasional surf elements that can only make you feel elated. The songs are all quite short, with the entire dozen tracks not even making it to half an hour, but the band probably doesn’t need more time to make their point.

The vocalist does a really good job with his not quite melodic and sometimes atonal performance, which adds to the antique feeling of the music. The musicians are also mostly quite good at what they are doing, except for the fact that three guitarists seems like one too many, as there is often one of them noodling endless solos that are not really going anywhere. The production is also a little flawed and even amateurish. Don’t get me wrong, I love simple, basic productions, but in this case I get the impression that a more compact sound would have given the music more power. I feel validated in that by the last two tracks which have been recorded live, and despite not really great sound quality, they still manage to convey a more authentic atmosphere.

There is definitely a lot of talent at play here, but Manfish should look for a better producer if they want to make a more lasting impression. I won’t give up hope and reward them with a generous seven point rating.

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