Saturday, 23rd June 2018. 5:58:16am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Manuskript- Protect and Survive


  Artist: Manuskript
CD Title:Protect and Survive
Label: Resurrection Records
Reviewer:Richard Edge
Date: 4-10-06

 

For those of you out there unfamiliar with the name Manuskript, they are one of the UK goth scene’s perpetual shining lights. Formed mid 1990s, they have managed over the last ten years to build themselves a reputation for combining two things not often found in the same room, let alone the same sentence - happy and goth!

Having said this, this album has something of a dark concept behind it, with the phrase ‘Protect and Survive’ being the public information phrase of the UK’s nuclear war preparations during the Cold War era. Many of the songs have the feel of those times, with themes of paranoia and subterfuge present

Manuskript deliver a unique brand of intelligent, dark synth rock, with a barrage of guitars thrown in for good measure. There is the odd foot still in the 1980s here and there, with echoes of Duran Duran and Japan, but most of the feet are in the present.

Melody is a key element to the Manuskript mix. Think big sing-along choruses, huge hooks and a beat that precludes stationary listening. Lyrically, the usual clichéd topics of this genre are avoided with the ease of a gymnast doing a forward roll. Singer Mike Uwins combines humour and self-analysis in a delightfully eloquent package, backed occasionally by keyboard guru Tim’s more traditional goth tones.

Protect and Survive is the fourth album from the band, and feels like a natural progression in terms of songwriting. Some tracks are reminiscent of last album, Natural High, for example ‘Grace and Favour’, one of the darker songs on the album.

Other tracks hint at a more dance-oriented feel, like the trance-led tones of ‘Charm Offensive’.

Every Manuskript album has to have some goth dancefloor-fillers, and single cut ‘Protect and Survive’ and ‘Angels of Islington’; a tribute to London uber-goth club The Slimelight fit this bill perfectly.

Manuskript deserve to shake off the goth tag that in some ways has prevented them achieving wider mainstream success. This album should go a long way towards doing that.


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