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Serena Maneesh - Serena Maneesh

Serena-Maneesh LP

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

WHEN Serena-Maneesh get it right, the results can be quite spectacular.

The Norwegian outfit recall the sounds of their heroes, from the chaotic noise brilliance of Sonic Youth, to the ethereal vocals and distorted samples of My Bloody Valentine, right down to the driving guitars and pounding drums of Primal Scream with a little of The Dandy Warhols’ psychedelic haze thrown in.

If that sounds like a heady brew, it is. But when it works, it really does provide a potent couple.

Take Drain Cosmetics, the first track on the self-titled album and a former single. It offers a tantalising blend of spaced out boy-girl vocals set against some driving rock guitar and Primal Scream-esque drum rhythms.

There’s also a hint of classic American bands such as The Dandy Warhols in their slacker style, making this an ideal listen to sit back and get stoned with on a hot festival day.

Likewise, the Jesus & Mary Chain/Stone Roses inspired Un Deux, with its retro-indie style. It’s one of the liveliest cuts on the long-player and once again trades strongly on the boy-girl vocals.

Another firm highlight is the mostly instrumental Don’t Come Down Here with its lazy guitar riffs and atmospheric drums – it hints at Pictures of You era-Cure and is every bit as emotive before rocking out at the end.

Unfortunately, the album as a whole cannot maintain such a consistently high quality.

Serena-Maneesh, by their own admission, don’t simply create sound, they explore it. As such, some of the loud, intoxicating rock rushes veer into experimental territory and occasionally feel a little too shambolic.

There is a very big divide between what really works and what doesn’t.

The album is worth checking out for the handful of tracks that really do delight but expect to be hitting the skip button for those that don’t.

Find out more about Serena Maneesh

Track listing:

  1. Drain Cosmetics
  2. Selina’s Melodie Fountain
  3. Un Deux
  4. Candlelighted
  5. Beehiver II
  6. Her Name Is Suicide
  7. Sapphire Eyes
  8. Don’t Come Down Here
  9. Chorale Lick
  10. Simplicity
  11. Your Blood In Mine