Landline EP Review in Divide And Conquer Music

3.9 out of 5

By Jay Freeman

Brooklyn, New York indie rock band, Manager, creates melodic, layered, dreamy songs with catchy chorus hooks and high energy, guitar-based grooves. Producer Jon Chinn (RjD2, New Bomb Turks) fronts the band, crafting moody pop/rock tunes that masquerade as indie slacker rock. Some tunes feature a high energy driving-pace, while others plod along with a more spacious and ambient style. Their latest release, Landline,is a short batch of songs that follows up their 2017 full length, self-titled debut. Along with Chinn who plays guitar, sings and uses an MPC (which applies to music, probably stands for multimedia personal computer), Ron Hester plays guitar and sings, Lori Cantu slaps the bass, sings and plays organ and Sir John Dorcas the 3rdlays down the beats on drums and percussion.

The opening track “Steven Tipton” has a nice, relaxed surf sound, although I am not sure who Mr. Tipton is. The lyrics have a humorous, cynical take but they also have a charming quality to them as well. “Hybrid” rocks out a bit harder and the low end, floor tom drumming sound way cool. Geographical locations play a part in the lyrics as well as this feeling of “coming to terms” with an older self – reminiscing about the crazier things you used to do in your youth.

​The next song “Rollerball” features a video to go along with the song on the band’s YouTube site and anytime musicians provide visuals to their songs, I definitely check it out. A nice video all around with fun camera angles and effects. But what caught my eye the most was Cantu’s wise choice for a bass – the Rickenbacker. Lyrically, this number seems to hint at government conspiracy and/or espionage. And I also thought Hester’s spacious and sparse guitar playing sounded very much like The Edge’s from U2.

“U.F.O.” begins with a heavy, slow rhythm inside a dreamy rock-pop style. For all you sci-fi, alien space fans or who otherwise relish in Area-51 conspiracy theories, this one’s for you. Lori Cantu’s backing vocal adds a gorgeous layer alongside Chinn’s melodic rhythm guitar and Hester’s ethereal solo. The final track is the EPs titled song, “Landline.” It instantly reminded me of something from U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind or How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Perhaps it was the added strings following along with Hester’s lead, and Dorcas’s solid drumming. Overall, I thought Landlinewas a solid, consistent recording with a very appealing sound. If you’re into artists like Bob Mould or bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Keane, Snow Patrol and maybe even Elbow, I think you’ll enjoy these east coast Brooklynites.

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