White Manna – White Manna
When a band calling themselves White Manna christen a track Acid Head, they risk flirting with parody. The Californian quartet’s mantric psych-rock sound, coupled with the nomenclature, paints a potent picture, but in reality they’re far from pastiche. Their clarity of vision is visceral and true: these guys know what they like, and chase it single-mindedly across five lengthy jams.
Only Don’t Gun Us Down breaks from the dense, guitar-abusing formula, its drifting introduction supplying a much-needed breather. Tellingly, it’s also the album’s weakest track: the band’s keenest strengths lie at the more propulsive, noisy end of their self-restricted sonic spectrum; ease off the gas, and their spark dissipates into so-much bong smoke. But so long as it’s kept on the boil, their focussed psychotropism is expertly effective, with the driving Mirror Sky the pinnacle. They’re anything but jacks of all trades, but they’re evidently already masters of one.