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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alan Mann (Band) - No Deal-No Sleep / White Lies

Name: Alan Man (Band)
Album(s): No Deal-NoSleep~ / White Lies*
Years: 1981~, 1983*
Style: Pub Rock, New Wave
Similar Bands: A's, Hooters, Madness, Cars,~ Elvis Costello, Dire Straits, Velvet Underground*
"One-Word" Review: Pub Room Party Ska~ Mellowed Rocker*
Based Out Of: Philadelphia, Pa
Label: Contender Records~, BMI~*, A&R Records*
No Deal - No Sleep - Cover & Record
    No Deal - No Sleep Back & Record
White Lies - Cover & Record
White Lies - Back & Record

No Deal - No Sleep (1981)
  1. I Want to Know You 3:43
  2. New Orleans 3:36
  3. You're Not the Only One 3:10/
  4. Let's Pretend 2:50
  5. No Deal - No Sleep 3:36
  6. Who's That Girl (live) 3:20
White Lies
  1. Tell Me 3:53
  2. I Don't Understand You 3:22
  3. Lovers 3:39 /
  4. The Bridge 7:27
  5. Fear of Heights 3:44
 Album Rating (1-10): ~8.0

Members & Other Bands:
Alan Mann - Rhythm Guitar, Vox, Vox Organ, Juno, Omni, Producer ~*
Randy Dance - Sax~
Hank Ransome - Drums~
Bobby Philadelphia - Bass, Vox ~Arrangement*
Jerry Healy - Guitar, Vox, Producer~
Joe Statuto - live Sax
Allen James - Lead Guiar, Arrangement*
George Manney - Drums/Percussion, Arrangement*
Fred Wackenhut - Hammond Organ/Piano~*
Kurt Shure - Keys*
Janet Darlington - Backing Vox*
Robin Traetta - Backing Vox*
Mitch Goldfarb - Producer, Engineer~*
Bob Adler - Photo*
Ritchard Wolff - Executive Producer~
Wendy Williams - Artwork~
Sandy/e Beaches - Artwork~*
Adele Winter - Design*
Doris A. Nee - Design*

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band. From looking at the first EP, it reminds me of something wacky and juvenile, but reminds me of Men At Work. Then, taking into account the second album band photo on the back, they look like they are going to be a typical new wave pub rock band. I also appreciate the tongue in cheek second album cover theme of a perfect family that is just a façade, covering “white lies.” This band is from Philly, and around the same time as the A’s, so I’m just going to assume they are a similar style to that.

Album Review: “I Want to Know You” is fun from the first note. Like a college new wave/ska party, the horns couple along with the bass line and create a free flowing fun time. The pace is pretty skankingly steady but it has brief moments of slowing up and speeding away. The vocals are nasally and low, somewhere between Elvis Costello and the Clash. The song fades out with a bunch of chatty vocals still audible, and the song ends in a car crash.
“New Orleans” brings the horns back and a bit of gentle surf guitar. The vocals are nasally, jittery and full of emotion. This song sways away from ska-rock to basic pub rock. The production is a little empty and/or stripped down. The instrumental sections are very much in control and remind me of oldies rock and roll with a bluesy bar tone.
“You're Not the Only One” is a start stop gritty pub number with a complete ska tempo, reminding me of Madness. The vocals are again, fun, jittery and full of nervous angst. And the breaks in the tempo are set off by the vocals, creating a fun song to anticipate each musical section. Every time the song paused from the vocals, the music kicks in a second later, fulfilling the catchy hook and bouncy fun that the musical brain wants to hear.

“Let's Pretend” is more of a glam hair rock song, sort of like Queen. The vocals are higher and smoother, and although the sax is still there, the pacing of the song is driving with a rhythm guitar chugging along. The song changes tempo a good deal of times in the song, keeping it very interesting, even if the song breaks form a bit. There is a very “meatloaf” fast singing bridge that the song employs to confuse the song’s genre further. It ends nicely with a short section that blends the styles that came before it.
“No Deal - No Sleep” is a nervous, rushed song fueled by brass and guitars, often feeling like it was composed on a few evenings straight of no sleep. The song uses a call and response lyric style between the singer and rest of the band for part of the first verse. The verses feel like they are building up to something bigger, but they never quite reach a climactic chorus release. Instead the song continues to build, only increasing the times that the chorus repeats with no real sense of delivery.
“Who's That Girl” is more of a Cars style song. The nervous vocals hold their tone for each line, and the song possesses a progressively driving & bouncing force, propelling the song forward with guitars and bass. There is a rawness that I associate with J Geils Bands in this song. It takes a while for the song to finally reach the chorus, but by the time 1:45 hits, the brief release is enough to keep interest in the song.

“Tell Me” a slow and steady beat and a whining guitar being this EP, but the nasally yet deepish vocals remain. They are not as jittery, but they still have that Richard Bush of The A’s feel. Like this is “A Woman’s Got the Power” to the other ep’s “Teenage Jerkoff.” The melody is a little country-ish, perhaps more mature (but not in a good way). The vocals could also be interpreted in a more in your face Dire Straits.
“I Don't Understand You” is a little more sinister, like Costello’s “Watching the Detectives.” But it is still more calculates and calmness nervous, two things that I think are better left out of music, especially with the display of the previous album. It also reminds me of Madness's song "Believe Me"
“Lovers” is a Velvet Underground inspired love ballad. The vocals are deeper, drug induced and floating, with an I-don’t-give-a-shit tone. Kinda reminds me of Ween’s Quebec era. The backing female vocals repeats lov-ers over and over again

“The Bridge” is a long, 7 and a half min song that starts out with only a disjointed bass beat. It finds its hook reminiscent of a Sugarhill Gang rap hook, and settles in for a long haul. The vocals layered over the song are more spoken than sung. The song is mostly instrumentation, with a bit of a story told over it with rhythm, rather than singing. But it is a sad story told, rather than a rhyming rap, with a depressing self instructing story of how everyman must feel at one point or another in life when they are alone, which leads to drugs. The guitars in the instrumental sections carry with them an extended echo that feels psychedelic. The story-song feels dark, gritty and filthy, like a soundtrack to any film that painted Philadelphia in a disgusting light in 1983. Cause that is how it really must have seemed.
“Fear of Heights” begins with a bouncy, upbeat guitar chord played on repeat. The bass and strings that accompany set the first tone as the Bob Dylan style vocals are spoke/sung over top. The song changes directions with a slinky sax, and the song grows a little darker. Once it reaches the chorus, which is actually pretty catchy, you’ve given up hope on the ep, and the few seconds of the song cannot save it. There is a hopeless feeling that envelopes and surrounds this entire ep.

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