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Def Leppard Meet the Sex Pistols on New Manraze Single — Song Premiere

Phil Collen

The intro chords come at you as if the ghost of Mick Ronson is being channeled from the rock ‘n’ roll heavens. Evoking glitter, glam, punk, and arena-ready metal, Manraze‘s ‘Over My Dead Body’ [on iTunes May 31st] seems familiar but also as fresh as a bite from a spider from Mars.

The new single from Manraze has a lot of people talking, and with good reason: instant classics are hard to come by these days. When you look at the group’s lineup, it’s no wonder that the forthcoming ‘punkfunkroostrock’ features a blizzard of authentic, gutsy, sparkling rock ‘n’ roll that harkens back to the glory days of the early and mid 1970s.

The London-based trio was formed in 2004 by lead guitarist Phil Collen of Def Leppard and includes legendary drummer Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols as well as Simon Laffy, bassist of Collen’s former glam-band Girl. ‘Punkfunkrootsrock’ is the band’s second album, and as they recently told Noisecreep, Manraze finally feel as if they’ve truly hit their stride.

The new album was recorded in less than two weeks, Impressive in an age of endless revision and digital tinkering.

Listen to ‘Over My Dead Body’ from Man Raze

As Laffy explained, the quick pace actually helped to give the album with a unique urgency. “Twelve tracks in 11 days, that it was a real roller-coaster ride,” he said. “Very exciting, demanding, inspiring for all of us! We had to think on our feet and hit our marks as soon as the record button was pressed. I think it helped to imbue the album with a huge energy and excitement.”

Cook agreed. “Yes, we liked the fast vibe of recording and managed to get most tracks done after just a few takes,” he said. “I think it makes for a more exciting sound. I think the sound of this album is a bit more contemporary and the songs are a bit edgier. The vibe while making the album was great and therefore we managed to finish it really quickly.”

“I think the influences are coming through loud and clear, particularly on the writing and the vocals, ” said Laffy. “Bowie, Iggy [Pop], The Police, Hendrix, Nirvana, bits of Pink Floyd even.”

Collen, who recently previewed the full album for Noisecreep at his home in Southern California, said the classic early ’70s Bowie era (featuring the late Mick Ronson on guitar) is something that always colors his playing. “I absolutely love that era,” he said. “Along with bands like Mott the Hoople, the New York Dolls — there was such powerful music that shaped my playing it’s impossible to keep it out of the room. But then we add our own style to it and a Manraze sound emerges. We are so proud of this new record, it’s almost hard to describe.”

Laffy described how this album differs from ‘Surreal’, their first. “In many ways, the vibe of this album is pushing outwards in all directions — more punky, more rocky, more dub. We went about it the same way as ‘Surreal,’ the three of us in the room playing together, as much as we could. Most of all, we had a ball doing it! As for why we chose ‘Over My Dead Body’ [on iTunes May 31st] as the single: it’s an in-yer-face upfront rocker a la Buckcherry. We love the fact that it speaks plainly — no nonsense! So it sends a message out to all rock fans that, first and foremost, we love to rock out.”

‘Punkfunkrootsrock’ offers a blistering display of ferocious, inspired, and catchy rock and roll. Collen wants the fans to enjoy the single right now but cannot wait to unleash the rest of what he calls “some of my proudest work.” This summer, the band is planning some live appearance during breaks from Collens’ Def Leppard tour.

“We feel like kids,” he laughed. “Just cranking out the music we love. There’s a message in this for young bands. Play what’s in your heart. Don’t over-think it all. Just play with passion and have fun. It’s amazing what happens when you do that.”

Download Manraze songs | Buy Manraze albums

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