24 Jul 2024
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Mana Mushroom - Album Review: Mana Mushroom

30 Aug 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
Poneke’s Mana Mushroom’s eponymous self-titled debut EP has emerged into the world, and it’s a banger! Showing the benefit of a long period of gestation in the live arena, this impressive instrumental collection has its aim stated as “to stimulate listeners' senses in a way which evokes a sense of wonder about the world and our place in it", and it achieves this aim. It’s quite possible that such stimulation could be enhanced with the aid of some fabulous fungi, but it’s not my place to suggest any such consumption..

Leading off with the 12+ minute Battle Hill, the band’s progressive ambition, and inspiration, is front and centre. This track puts me in mind of a reverse version of King Crimson’s Red, thus harking back 50-odd years to a band some regard as the forerunners in the prog genre. Where KC lead pretty much straight off into the sonic onslaught, easing off the pedal later on for the quieter bits, this track starts with the more restrained, with a slow build in dynamics toward the first outburst of powerhouse riffola. In my book, to be evoking the pioneers straight out of the starting block is impressive stuff indeed! (not that the two tracks sound anything like each other, apart from maybe one random note, but they are both drawing on a similar spirit)

Backing up this opening statement of intent, the second track, Ultraviolet adds layers progressively on an elaborate riff as it builds toward a breakout just after the halfway point, before cycling back around to a lower intensity expression, and finishing strongly. This leads in to track 3, Meteorite, the shortest of this suite, weighing in at a mere five minutes. A Tool-reminiscent riff leads off, before a pause precedes the complete change of pace, breaking out into high-speed mode to show the power that has previously been held more in check, giving a tantalising glimpse into what could ensue if things were to get out of hand!

Closing out is Chapters, initially evoking a sped-up Kyuss, over an appealing base of dirty fuzz, then veering across the speed spectrum, cranking up and slowing down the beat, before climaxing in an elaborate breakout that unites all of the elements previously sighted, to finish the EP on a high, if slightly abrupt, note. Always leave them wanting more, is the expression that springs to mind here, as the music suddenly terminates, leaving the listener seeking exactly that!

A very impressive opening salvo in a career that promises much, this is definitely a piece worth the effort of exploring. I’d be interested to see the band in a live setting, where it’s easy to imagine these tracks absolutely taking off, so will be watching out in hope of such an opportunity. And I suspect they might be kind of fun guys! In the meantime, however, there’s just this sampler to keep on high rotation, while awaiting that day. Ch-Check it out!!

 

About Mana Mushroom

Fungus fueled, heavy progressive psychedelic jungle sounds from Aotearoa

"its hypnotic and vibey, they have some big crescendos, the whole thing sounds huge for a three piece."


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mana Mushroom

Releases

Mana Mushroom
Year: 2023
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Rob Harbers

Gig Review: Devilskin @ ToiToi Opera House, Hastings - 15/06/2024
18 Jun 2024 // by Rob Harbers
On a chilly Te-Matau-A-Maui evening, Devilskin brought the warmth to a capacity crowd at Hastings’ ToiToi, with the help of a few friends. Probably the loudest the old girl’s been for some time, as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the release of debut album We Rise.
Read More...
Gig Review: Bitta Batta @ Paisley Stage, Napier - 14/06/2024
16 Jun 2024 // by Rob Harbers
The weather outside was frightful, but inside the coolest little venue in Ahuriri, things were anything but, as the soulful Bitta Batta were making their debut on the Te-Matau-A-Maui stage! Such ventures require a supportive hand in their genesis, and tonight that fell to the amorphous collective that is Willsy and Friends.
Read More...
Gig Review: Tower of Flints @ Paisley Stage, Napier - 4/05/2024
08 May 2024 // by Rob Harbers
On a Saturday night with many entertainment options for the people of Te-Matau-A-Maui, a select audience was treated to a triple bill of quality artists at the sweet little spot that is the Paisley Stage.First up was Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s Spinning Lights, making their East Coast debut.
Read More...
Sam Higham - Album Review: Jam Fish
20 Nov 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Poneke’s Sam Higham has just released his debut solo album Jam Fish. With an audacious precocity belying his mere 26 years, this one-man production threatens to smash many preconceptions, and burrow its way into your head with its multi-faceted attack, one that would fall, for want of a better position, into the arena of ‘progressive’.
Read More...
Ryan Fisherman - Album Review: Country EMO
13 Oct 2023 // by Rob Harbers
When initially asked if I could do a review of this album, to be perfectly honest I’d never heard of Ryan Fisherman. But having had its silky charms beguiling my ears for the past few weeks, his is definitely a name I want to hear more from!
Read More...
Bazurka - Album Review: Novi Grad All Stars
06 Jul 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara’s Bazurka back up their cool-as-fuck name with a refreshingly distinct sound, one that brings the spirit of the Balkans alive in contemporary Aotearoa.Their new album, Novi Grad All Stars, opens with a flourish of brass, leading in to a delicate violin threnody, which then segues into a syncopated groove, in which all the players are given their opportunity to shine.
Read More...
Guardian Singles - Album Review: Feed Me To The Doves
03 Jul 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Tamaki Makaurau’s Guardian Singles are keeping the spirit of punk alive and kicking with their sophomore album, Feed Me To The Doves.From the first minute of opener Chad and Stacey, with its references to the peculiar blend of bitterness and displaced envy that is the incel hallmark, it’s clear that here is a band with much to say, and they’re going to make damn sure you can’t ignore them!
Read More...
Space Waltz - Album Review: Victory
13 Jun 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Way back in New Zealand’s entertainment history, as hard as it may be to believe, long before the days of streaming, if you wanted to watch TV you had one choice. State broadcasting provided all content, across a single channel.
Read More...
View All Articles By Rob Harbers

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • NOT LIKE US
    Kendrick Lamar
  • BIRDS OF A FEATHER
    Billie Eilish
  • MILLION DOLLAR BABY
    Tommy Richman
  • PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
    Sabrina Carpenter
  • HOUDINI
    Eminem
  • A BAR SONG (TIPSY)
    Shaboozey
  • ESPRESSO
    Sabrina Carpenter
  • LOSE CONTROL
    Teddy Swims
  • TOO SWEET
    Hozier
  • GOOD LUCK, BABE!
    Chappell Roan
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem