Album Review: Jonny Manak & The Depressives – “Primitive Sounds For A Modern World”

Well, this is kind of a stray away from my normal material that usually consists of heavy music but hell, it’s refreshing!

The Bay Area, home of Anchor Steam beer, the hated SF Giants, birthplace of US thrash metal and the current home of a bad ass garage punk band called Jonny Manak & The Depressives.

Who is Jonny Manak & The Depressives you ask?!?   This band is 3 piece powerhouse from the San Jose/Oakland area who stick to their guns and influences when it comes to bangin’ out good ol’ rock n’ roll tunes and LPs (they’ve released 3 so far)   Band consists of:

– An ex pro skateboarder named Jonny Manak (Fun Fact: His brother Chris, is the head of indie hip hop label giant Stones Throw Records)

– Flogging Molly’s/Dee Dee Ramone/Streetwalkin Cheetah’s ex bassist Bobby Wilcox.

– Flexx Bronco’s own Andy on the drums

What are they releasing you ask?!?  A new album of course, duh!  Their new record is called Primitive Sounds for A Modern World and is being released via a partnership between Manak’s own Reach Around Records and a new start up called Self Destructo Records.  14 tracks of garage rock hymns is what your getting with this. 

When is this coming out?!?  Street date for this polyvinyl chloride infused piece of fun is set for early May but you can now download the album in it’s entirety via iTunes or stream it over Spotify.

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Album cover is awesome, props to David McHank for the tiki man sketch!

So, let’s get in the review part.  This album is really fun and super catchy to the ears, take it from me a…a guy who practically listens to nothing but Goatsnake and Turbonegro….this album was really fun.

These 14 tracks make you move your head like the way when you first heard Radio Birdman’s “Radios Appear” album back when you were first getting into punk rock.  I specfically note the track “Ride the Barrell (and get Pitted) as the cream of this album though, that track’s tempo and hooks are as catchy as it gets.

Another foot tapper is the song Wha-Bam! (which by coincidence has kinda become his trademark saying with the band). It sounds like something The Saint’s would have done but obviously came to late on it, total power pop sounding track.

This album is not just a studio album but also a live album as Side B was recorded during a live session at KFJC over in the San Jose area. Songs from this side consist of back catalog material + new material that never had proper studio release (from what I understand is in the works!).

All in all, Primitive Sounds For A Modern World is a fun album from the starting track :Wha-Bam!: to the finishing track of the consequence of choosing a road to travel and bearing the outcomes “Choose My Fate.”

3 guys, a home studio, a passion for doing what they love and making it happen regardless of the outcome. America, take notice!

Jonny Manak & The Depressives – “Primitive Sounds For a Modern World”

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