1. Grannies Retreat
2. Somebody Else
3. You Sing The Grass
4. One More Day
5. Mother Psycho
Where do they get these names … seriously?! (A quick Google tells us it’s a Tony Hawk skater move) “Name your band after a body part and it’ll be ripe for metaphors,” should be day one at Rock School. And unfortunately, all the possible Nose Manual puns you can think of probably applied here: no song stood out in a fairly loose and at times lacklustre set.
When the newly-formed rockers assembled on stage, something about their workmanlike demeanour made them look like they’d be pretty heavy, but they were more Weezer in sound, with sunny melodies and jolly guitar. Vocalist Billy Wong (also of “Amino Shower”) wasn’t the best singer, but just about held the set together with thoughtful lyrics and an ebullient stage presence, leaping on top of a piano stool and running around. It was surf rock for the slacker generation, but it could have been pulled a lot tighter.
There were signs of promise: after the angular opening riff of Somebody Else, the guitarist let rip with an effortless and impressive solo, while One More Day had Red Hot Chili Pepper’s funky surf shack chords. Last song Mother Psycho saw the night out with scattered drums and a jangly, indie rock riff. Altogether it was very garage band – like the audience had stumbled upon the early rehearsals of a new group. All the right components were there, but it’ll take a little more polish before Nose Manual will be fit for another headline slot.
– El Jay