by Jonathan Bannister (@j_utah)
I love those moments when you put on a new album for the first time and within five-seconds you know you’re about to hear the band’s best album. When you can just tell the band has taken a huge leap forward in their craft. (Ae) Maeth is one of those albums for Reduction Plan. All the work that Daniel Manning has been doing since 2015, each prior release that has found him refining his sound, taking elements from 80s goth, industrial, dream-pop, and even no-wave, it has all been melded into this juggernaut of a new album.
The first thing that strikes you about “Deliver,” the new song we’re stoked to premiere, is the sound. Manning has enlisted the help of producer and engineer Kevin McMahon (Swans, The Walkmen, Pile) and it’s paid off in a full, deep sounding song. When the backing vocals hit at the top of the second verse, it makes my ears happy. His vocals are the most up front they’ve been, and each instrument is given its just due. It also feels like a full fledged song, like Manning is writing knowing he now has a full band behind him to play the songs live.
Lyrically, the song feels urgent. “No future waits for me,” Manning repeats. We live in increasingly existential times. For many, they find themselves as engaged as they’ve ever been with the outside world and all the horror that our devices pump into our eyes and ears. Yet, with all that is going on in the world most of our days are still spent stuck in the same rut. We hear about another mass shooting as we’re stuck in traffic going to the same unfulfilling job we’ve held onto for too long because we need the health benefits. We wonder what’s the point of any of it as we wander the isles of some generic grocery store, wondering how we’ll pay for the schooling that doesn’t guarantee any sort of future while we pick out chips. We long for a better life while people are being detained for the same thing. “I beg, deliver me,” Manning says over and over. We all crave deliverance. We cry out looking for something to break through. We don’t know how much time any of us have left.
“Deliver” doesn’t purport to have the answers, but that’s never why we’ve turned to music. As always, the benefit comes in knowing we’re not alone in the seeking. Listen to “Deliver” below and mark September 20th on your calendar for when (Ae) Maeth comes out on Redscroll Records / Dune Altar.