ManDancing
The Good Sweat


4.3
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
December 1st, 2020 | 103 replies


Release Date: 11/20/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ah geez, would you please come home

The Good Sweat begins with an organ hum giving way to strummed acoustic guitar and it ends with fire and brimstone. "The terror felt from nightmares as a kid comes back in stages", singer Stephen G Kelly muses on "Kenlock"; it's as apt a descriptor as any for this beguiling, multi-faceted album, somehow both a slow burn and full of offhand, jagged energy like lightning sparking across the tracks. You may come away from The Good Sweat touched, amused or full of that same electric energy, but you won't come away the same as you were.

ManDancing's most marvelous quality is how they fit together all these angular puzzle pieces, making a gorgeous painting in a crooked frame. Drummer Thomas DeVinko is the band's secret weapon, his absolutely superb stickwork driving each song with a loose-limbed, frantic energy that borders on math rock. But he's piloting the band not through mathy nonsense but rather lean, razor-sharp bursts of indie rock that float along on delicate wings. Ben Petty and James Bauman, whose heat-haze shimmer guitars recall The Dangerous Summer's "The Permanent Rain" more than anything that chugs or slams, fill out the canvas with a lighter touch that perfectly offsets DeVinko's intensity. But Kelly is the glue at the centre holding it all together. Recalling, in his softer moments, Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull to uncanny levels, Kelly's acrobatic vocal range comfortably stretches from near-whisper to a coarse, throaty yell. But it's his deceptively clever songwriting which marks him as a talent more distinct than the sum of his influences, with lyrics running the gamut from rooftop blunts and binging Toblerones in a parking lot to plumbing the nightmare-fuelled hallways of his mind, and fantastic melodies which constantly mutate to match the elastic songs he's performing on. It's impossible to imagine The Good Sweat cohering as it does without Kelly's shockingly disarming emotional sincerity to ground it.

Elastic really is the operative word. Hear how "Perch" starts out with a country-esque acoustic stomp, only to evolve into a towering inferno of a finale that would make The Receiving End of Sirens blush, in four minutes and change. Hear "Wall Spot" and "Johnny Freshman" wield empty space like a painter wields their brush, exploding exactly when the song demands and not a second earlier. Really, just listen to the album and hear how the band lock into an enviable groove a minute into "Kenlock" and never let it go for 36 minutes. ManDancing are the platonic ideal of a Bandcamp discovery, boasting a plethora of familiar influences in service of making music that is uniquely and charmingly theirs. All that's left now is to discover them.



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user ratings (42)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2020


44525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

here's the album https://mandancing.bandcamp.com/album/the-good-sweat



feel free to agree with and/or yell at me here as you see fit

Digging: Black Country, New Road - For the first time

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 1st 2020


36503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was waiting for this ever since you recommended it. My 5 might be a tad overhyped but this is damn close to perfect. The Manchester Orchestra vibes are strong and this is better than a couple of their albums.

Digging: Slaughter Beach, Dog - At The Moonbase

BigTuna
December 1st 2020


5483 Comments


Literally listening to this now, and it's wonderful. Somewhat unfortunate band name but the tunes make up for it so far.

Digging: Beach Bunny - Blame Game

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2020


44525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

smh what is wrong with men dancing

BigTuna
December 1st 2020


5483 Comments


Oh absolutely nothing - love a good man dance.

BigTuna
December 1st 2020


5483 Comments


not a top tier band name, however

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2020


31675 Comments


MenDancing: sputnik users when they can remember more than two melodies in a math album and the vocalist sounds like that guy from that sadboi band

Gonna jam this again soon + excited to read

Digging: Fushitsusha - Live I

Slex
December 1st 2020


10923 Comments


Tempted to 5 this, the closer is absolutely unbelievable, it's come at a personal time when I need it and it's probably the most memorable and fulfilling album of this ilk I've heard since the first time I heard Throw Me In The River

So yeah, alright album

Digging: Seiko Oomori - Kintsugi

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2020


44525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

good thing this is not a math album. more like johnny of the WRONG



last three songs on this are an unbelievable run ye

Slex
December 1st 2020


10923 Comments


Whole album is fantastic but for me the run from GloveSweat to the end is just an exhilarating sprint

GhostB1rd
December 1st 2020


7940 Comments


Man Dancing

Booty Sweat - EP

Slex
December 1st 2020


10923 Comments


Yeah I have to admit, as someone who doesn't get caught up on names hardly ever, this one is pretty awkward lol

GhostB1rd
December 1st 2020


7940 Comments


Still gonna listen to that shit tho

Slex
December 1st 2020


10923 Comments


Definitely should asap

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2020


31675 Comments


you tried to sell it to me as a math album, among other things, smh it's not my fault that was the only part of your pitch that I could take seriously

Slex
December 1st 2020


10923 Comments


Johnny when did u become such a DIVA

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 1st 2020


36503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Saying the last 3 songs are quite a run as if RJW isn't the best track on the album

GhostB1rd
December 1st 2020


7940 Comments


More like Johnny Weebman amirite

Slex
December 1st 2020


10923 Comments


Closer is definitely the best for me, the whole album leads to that moment when he fully lets loose vocally, and then that staccato melody with the pounding drums? Holy shit

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2020


44525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

"you tried to sell it to me as a math album, among other things, smh it's not my fault that was the only part of your pitch that I could take seriously"



I knew the only way your soft ass would pay attention was if I lied about the album. get trojan horse'd



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