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Man In Gray
I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing
Serious Business Records
www.maningray.com


While Man In Gray makes an engaging listen, it doesn't make good driving music. Their keen use of dynamics lends to erratic acceleration and unexpected slowing that, while difficult to perceive from the driver's seat, draws the attention of law enforcement and the ire of fellow commuters. It's a propellant brand of indie punk (formerly known as alternative/post punk/pomo/ shut it.) The prepubescent absence of fuzz coupled with an advanced species of chords brings to mind Television. Clean, cool, ovular guitar lines delivered by someone who obviously knows their way around a fretboard, but refuses to showboat. They do like the wall of sound scrubbing, but with the reverb knocked off. Drummer Jeremiah McVay isn't averse to toms, (yay) nor afraid to rush when required. (hoo-ray)

The ebullient Christina DaCosta sings, shouts and screams with massive personality, moving from innocent waif to crazy drunken girlfriend with the ease of The Avengers' Penelope Houston. The title track lifts discordant boy/girl harmonies from X. Everything is presented empathetically with an accessible artiness - the kind that makes you want to make art yourself, not make the scene sipping cosmos (or whatever the current haughty girly drink is.)

-Ewan Wadharmi


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