Manchesters Man Made give us great hooks, great melodies and enough variety to make this an accomplished debut LP
Manchester has produced many seminal bands over the years. Although not yet a household name, alt. rock trio Man Made have distinguished themselves with some pretty impressive support slots for the likes of Broken Social Scene and Jake Bugg. It will no doubt be of interest to many that frontman Nile Marr is in fact the son of none other than Smiths legend and guitar god, Johnny Marr. Man Made need not rely on famous connections though; together with the rest of the band, Nile Marr has created his own masterful blend of guitar-driven pop.
Debut album, ‘TV Broke My Brain‘, comes after a two and half year delay, but its slick production and deftly crafted songs suggest the wait was worth it. Simple and brimming with energy, ‘Carsick Cars‘ is a lively opener which will give listeners a fair idea of what to expect from the trio.
The band seem to have mastered the art of the indie anthem in lead single and stand-out track, ‘Bring Some‘. Laden with infectious guitar hooks and a catchy melody, it has all the elements of a good pop song. Looks can be deceiving, but despite the electric guitars and rock band image, the majority of Man Made’s songs are very much rooted in pop, and this is in no way a bad thing. All the songs on ‘TV Broke My Brain‘ are well structured, memorable and never once do they outstay their welcome.
This pop format is accompanied by adroit guitar work and predominantly competent lyricism. ‘Plastic Key To Living‘ seems to express discontent with a society overrun by technology – a theme which reappears on several occasions across the LP. Whilst this is a strong track, it is one of the rare moments on the album where a song is perhaps poorly produced, meaning it does not reach its full potential.
‘TV Broke My Brain‘ flits between the more rousing upbeat indie numbers and slightly slower, more contemplative tracks such as ‘Everything We Miss‘ and ethereal closer ‘Slowdance‘. It is an album that boasts variety whilst always maintaining an emphasis on strong melodies and almost infuriatingly catchy guitar riffs. For a debut album, ‘TV Broke My Brain‘ is very promising indeed and fans of melodic guitar-driven pop will be hooked. Having proven themselves as skilled musicians in the realms of indie and pop, it will be interesting to see how Man Made develop in years to come.
‘TV Broke My Brain’ is out now via Kobalt Music.
This Man Made review was written by Ailsa McEwan. Edited by Stephen Butchard.