Manatees Snackin' With The Manatees

In the tradition of fellow Pacific North-westerners the Ventures, Seattle's the Manatees are keeping the form of surf rock alive and well. The Manatees take a lounge-y, Hawaiian approach to the genre, using a lot of slide guitar and setting themselves apart from the pack in the process. Many different exotic influences can be heard throughout the album, and on "Mendoza," the rhythm alternates cleverly from bossa nova-esque to Mexican cantina band-like. Also great is the surfed-out Lee Perry-style jam "Seventeen and a Half Years," which also gets the full dub remix treatment at the end of the CD. It highlights some nice echo-phonic reggae trumpet work and laid back wah guitar. A cover of Kraftwerk's "The Model" is given a peppy yet respectful run through the old surfafier machine and is an opportunity for the Manatees to pop some theremin on the album. This is a band that should really only be booked into the last few remaining Trader Vic's locations around the world. (Orange)