You may remember Oakland’s Man/Miracle. We covered them on Local Pairings all the way back in July when we reviewed their awesome 7″ single for “Pushing and Shoving.” At the time, we had noted that they were hard at work on their full length debut, which is now scheduled to be released on November 1 of this year. In reviewing the single, we predicted that these guys had at least a couple of excellent albums in them. With their full length debut, Man/Miracle has proven that prediction to be true: it is titled The Shape of Things and it sounds fantastic. The Shape of Things is energetic and bright featuring a powerful collection of catchy melodies and thoughtfully well-written songs. With their debut, Man/Miracle has proven that they are one of the Bay Area’s most promising up and coming bands.
The Shape of Things opens with the vibrant, buoyant tune of “Above the Salon.” A bright, reverb-fuzzed guitar riff fades in and out, building tension with drummer Tyler Corelitz‘s light, terse percussion as singer Dylan Travis croons on the chorus, “there is so much I miss about you.” It is followed by the track, “Hot Sprawl,” which opens with a generally laid-back groove and slow, drawn out lyrics that echo off into the distance, but soon the track grows tense and urgent. Dylan sings “we’ll push back / we’ll snap back into form” followed by a flash of shimmering guitar and rapid drumming before the song snaps back into the laid-back form that they defined at the beginning. An elastic guitar riff opens the track “Up” alongside bouncy percussion and peppy, afloat vocals. “Multitudes” features angular, rigid harmony and stands as one of the album’s nosiest tracks. The boisterous cacophony of “Pushing and Shoving” remains a highlight on the album, although I especially enjoy the Talking Heads-like tune “Other People” that follows it. This is definitely an album you should check out when it is released.
You can catch them live at a few upcoming Bay Area shows (check out their myspace page for details):
Rickshaw, San Francisco – 11/5/09
Crepe Place, Santa Cruz – 11/12/09
LoBot Gallery, Oakland – 11/15/09
Head back to eating/sf to read Kasey’s review of Bar Crudo in San Francisco.