Skywriters is the solo project of Christchurch, New Zealand singer, guitarist, and bassist Greg Mannering. Mannering has been a working musician for many years in Christchurch and in Sydney, Australia. He has been working steadily on his debut five-song EP Inside Out. Describing his process of songwriting Mannering is a fiddler, not a fiddle player but a man who works out a riff slowly, looking for a hook and then fiddling with it until the song presents itself. This process seems to have worked out well for him on this debut as each song has a very precise and hook driven punch that makes the music fun and accessible in that beautifully simple yet highly effective way that so much English post-punk was built on.
Inside Out opens with “Flicker” a downbeat guitar driven pop rocker that builds into that troubadour rock style of meaningful jangle pop which gets a nice hint spirally melodic keyboard playing from Mannering’s mate, Paul Andrew. Next comes “Miles Behind Us” a fun and frolicking faster paced rocker that exemplifies Mannering’s ability to build a such a melodic pop groove that takes the listener with him on the song, borne along on the upbeat melody.
On “Freddy’s Funhouse” he turns the volume up a bit more and pairs thick chops of bass and chunky guitar with whirly keys. The song reminded me of bands like Madness and Elvis Costello most specifically on albums like Get Happy! and Armed Forces. He goes for a more traditional and bluesy rock more reminiscent in a sense of the early Blur records on “Shut Down” and especially the albums heavy sounding closer “American Idyll.”
Needless to say any fan of British post punk and Brit pop will find Inside Out to be a fantastic addition to such a great cannon of music. It’s not often one hears this style being originally recorded anymore and it made me long for a resurgence or made me want to go and spend a day or weeks really just revisiting those decades which seem to have been long forgotten after grunge and its aftermath swept through the nation of music. For anyone out there looking for a good starting point before delving into the big boys I would highly suggest Inside Out. It’s a mix of a walk down memory lane and a new path being forged by some great musicians.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook