Published Jun 29, 2020The Manvils are originally from Vancouver but relocated to Toronto in 2011. Their latest release, Reaction Arrow, is one to put in your tape deck for a road trip across Canada just after you graduate high school in 1998. It is reminiscent of smoky bars along Toronto's Queen Street strip back when people smoked in bars. Chances are good that kids these days will enjoy hearing some straight-up rock — even if it is over the internet.
Fronted by lead singer, guitarist and namesake Mikey Manville, the inspirations that emerge are punk, grunge, and hard rock, with not a shred of poptimism, which will come as a welcome relief to purists. In the opening riff of "ZooBombs Away," there is a very faint glimmer of space-aged experimentalism that can be heard as the bass is trailed by the minimalistic high-pitched guitar.
The Manvils are no small players in Canada's music scene and have, over the years, provided material for the soundtrack of the CBC documentary series Moscow Freestyle and the horror movie Never Cry Werewolf. Reaction Arrow is the work of artists who do what they do and do it well. It certainly becomes more interesting when one considers the Manvils' position as an important piece in the mosaic that is Canadian music. (Independent)