Manchester CD - Suburban Home

The frontman for veteran hardcore punk muddiers Avail, Tim Barry has released his third disc of Americana stylings under his own name. As with Barry’s previous two solo outings, Manchester will be somewhat disorienting to the uninitiated fans of his band’s thrashing pop-punk mania. Which is to say that Barry again announces, “Goodbye to all that.” The work on Manchester is all about roots: the disc wraps itself in a breathable fabric, an easy blend of country, folk, and rock that occasionally veers into Crazy Horse territory and wears its socio-political anxieties on its sleeves.

Barry is a storyteller here, a narrator of the quotidian sepia lives of real people. His often resigned tales touch on the surreal insanity of Iraq, the lurid allure of drug culture, intrusive and aggressive cops, and (probably vain) resistance to losing one’s perspective and embracing the empty promises of our new America (the record was released before the Right lost some of their stranglehold on the country). And if Manchester’s characters tend to ramble at times, to stumble and become lost in a plot that comes in and out of focus, Barry’s emotional commitment to what he’s doing is everywhere in evidence.

By Michael Meade




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