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Manny Ribera - Keep 'Em Down Award winner

Manny Ribera
Keep 'Em Down
by Garrett Davis at 22 December 2016, 3:03 PM

Formed in 2010, the Swedish band mates describe their style as a mix of 70s and 80s Grunge with 90s Metal. Peter Larsson has a great voice for this style of music, possessing a wide vocal range with the addition of some high-pitched warbling that I just loved listening to. I was really impressed with a lot of the music here and I’ll be up-front about my recommendation rather than make you read or scroll to the end: listen to this album and buy it if you love it. MANNY RIBERAis a classic Grunge Metal band that have made a strong LP that lovers of Rock just shouldn’t be without.

The Drunk, The Bald, and The Useless”is a powerful opener, with a solo drum riff that leads into thundering guitars and some pretty great Rock vocals. “Mean Machine” is a roaring track with voices repeating the chorus “Mean Machine…Mean Machine”; a really energizing song. This track just doesn’t let up and I don’t know any Rock lover who would be able to resist jamming along to it. “Keep ‘em Down” is more subdued, but it doesn’t lose any of the momentum built up by the first two songs. “Friendly Reminders” has a punchy lead-in that really accentuates the strong bridge and Larsson really milks his vocals here.

Can You Hear the People Sing” has a quiet intro that you just know is going to increase in intensity, and it definitely delivers. This is by no means the best track on the album but it has a more entertaining sound that the last few tracks started to slip away from. I could see this one being a big favourite at concerts, with people jumping and dancing. “The Forgiver” has an almost melancholy tone, with a drastically reduced pace and quiet vocals. It builds slowly into a phenomenal emotional piece, really showcasing the band members’ skill. “Sail Away” persists with a strong, almost antagonistic sound with a quiet bridge that grips you tight and transitions expertly into a melodic chorus that builds the song up all over again.

The LP refuses to wind down and continues with “Eyes on the Goal”; a fitting name for a song that is in sight of the finish line and rather than pulling back, pushes forward for a stronger finale. “Empty Soul” is a fantastic Grunge Metal song that really leans into the anti-establishment concept and berates you into filling your own “Empty Soul”. Finally, letting up for a powerful yet beautiful lament, “A Better Place” uses all that energy you’ve built up over the course of the album against you. As the song mellows you out it almost makes you feel tired as if those previous tracks drained something out of you with their energy. For a significantly slower song than anything before, it doesn’t feel out of place thanks to the rise and falls across the songs.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. The Drunk, The Bald and The Useless
  2. Mean Machine
  3. Keep 'Em Down
  4. Friendly Reminders
  5. Can You Hear the People Sing
  6. The Forgiver
  7. Sail Away
  8. Eyes on the Goal
  9. Empty Soul
  10. A Better Place
Daniel Andersson – Bass
Adde Lindqvist – Drums
Joakim Sörman – Guitars
Peter Larsson - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: 7Hard Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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