Phil Manca – Signs | Album Review

Phil Manca – Signs

Tremelo Editions Productions

10 songs time-41:08

Europe seems to have an affinity for hot shot blues rock guitarists and France’s Phil Manca is the latest in a long line. He concentrates entirely on his axe except for background vocals, leaving the lead vocal chores to several others. His style of playing tends toward a more manic approach. His band is limited to the usual suspects-drums, bass and keyboards. Half the songs are band originals.

Josselin “JJ” Jobard takes up the vocal on “Brand New Game” with his capable rocker’s voice wailing over the guitars. The vocal on the title track is courtesy of Lois Landoi. This one is at a slower pace with slide guitar over power chords. “JJ” steps in again on “Colorblind” with acoustic guitar, slide and what sounds like a mandolin contributing to the atmospherics. A cover of The Beatles “Yer Blues” is a festival of guitar noise.

John Mayall’s “Little Girl” continues the guitar feeding frenzy. “S.M.I.L.E.” has Phil sliding his guitar in speed freak fashion. “JJ” takes the vocal on the jumpin’ little ditty “Hot Little Mama”. A change of pace in a lovely ballad “Lay By My Side” with Renaud Hantson on vocal and some beautiful lilting guitar work. To close out the CD they reach back to cover an AC-DC song from Bon Scott’s tenure with the band-“Down Payment Blues” and manage the rock and roll energy and frenetic guitar antics quite well.

A heavy dose of blues rock and rock from this guitar centric band. It doesn’t hurt that a variety of first class singers do a grade “A” job throughout. If blues rock is your thing you just can’t go wrong here. Phil Manca lays down a virtual guitar frenzy as a firm foundation for their songs. This is a blues rock keeper.

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