Manual Zombie - Autumn

Bleak, desolate, crawling, cold, dark and weird music is what we have here. Manual Zombie is an intriguing duo coming from Brooklyn, New York that dwells on minimal and droning soundscapes of sinister, creepy and noisy ambiences peppered with whispered voices and spoken samples. ‘Autumn’ is their latest work and I’m not really sure how to define the whole listening experience. On one hand, the band presents a spaghetti western vibe in their guitar playing that combined with some eerie industrial sounds makes me think of a disturbing soundtrack to a weird b-movie with zombies, vampires and axe murders. Like a strange amalgamation of Ennio Morricone, Goblin and John Carpenter. On some occasions their lo-fi and fuzzy guitars denote some garage and noise rock influences that place their music somewhere between Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and Butthole Surfers. There’re also times where Manual Zombie delivers some straight and immediate riffing that recalls The Ramones like on ‘Open Cut’.
While the sounds do vary throughout the album, sometimes Manual Zombie do fail from keeping some of the songs from feeling like a stagnant re-hash of ideas that you’ve heard before and sound way too familiar. However, although ‘Autumn is far from perfect, it definitely provides more than its fair share of entertaining and captivating moments (that alluring guitar line of ‘Susannah’ being one of them) and if you're a fan of weird, noisy and blood-soaked movie soundtracks, then the album is sure to be a hit with you.

David Alexandre

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