For those of you already acquainted with Everything Everything, this album will have been something you’ve been looking forward to for a while, and rightly so. Not only does Man Alive retain the energy and originality we’ve come to expect from the Manchester band, but it also presents a more minimal and ambient feel. Not only does this broaden the band’s appeal, but it also stands to justify their placement within the BBC sound of 2010 list.
Opener ‘MY KZ UR BF’ has been popular for a while, and introduces their hybrid of sounds well, with the kind of unique lyrics for which they’ve become known. ‘Qwerty Finger’ and ‘Schoolin’ roll on in a similar style, and it’s not until ‘Leave The Engine Room’ that we’re presented with a somewhat more laid back sound. Lead singer Jonathan Higgs takes his voice high and low to give a more ethereal feel, which shows up again throughout the album. ‘Final Form’ is equally strong, whilst demonstrating how strange and original their lyrics can be “I wish the cesspit would open like a bible, I wish the rotten would blossom with the tidal”. It certainly makes for an interesting listen, whilst musically the sound is tight with sharp drums and both guitar and synth lines balancing well.
This is a band that can one moment be energetic and bouncy, with glorious guitar lines soaring around Higgs’ vocals, and as soon as the energy comes, it can dissipate leaving a mellow sound which could even be compared to the likes of Radiohead, who are clearly an influence upon their novel style. ‘Tin (The Manhole)’ is the most relaxing track on the album, an apparent polar opposite to the lively opener of Man Alive, whilst final track ‘Weights’ sees the band harmonising through another strong song, capping off a very interesting and enchanting debut.