by Jimmy Vapid
In their 27 years long adventure, the Manges recorded an impressive number of songs.
Their followers don’t always agree about which are their best, so… let’s ask the band!
Here’s their top-12!
1. BARRAGE OF HATE
Barrage Of Hate was released for the first time in 2003 on the Queers/Manges split. Simple, straightforward, dark but catchy.
Andrea says “it’s probably the song that changed the game for us, we finally found our true style during those sessions”.
Mayo defines it “the song that better represent our sound, (it) made me love the Manges when I still wasn’t in the band”.
2. STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER
Andrea recalls: “we were sure this was going to be the best song and first single from the All Is Well album. Something happened in the studio, the final result was a bit of a let down and it wasn’t even included on that record”. “We thought it could add value to a 7” as a b-side to Lone Commando (All Is Well)”, Mass add, “but I think it still is a beautiful song with very inspired lyrics”.
3. I DON’T WANNA LIVE IN HELL
Mass says “it’s a pure punk rock song”. “I Don’t Wanna Live In Hell” is classic Manges-style, filled with melody and desperation, first relased on the Queers/Manges split in 2003 and still one of the highlights of the live sets.
Mayo: “It’s probably the song I enjoy the most playing live”.
4. CROCODILE IN MY HEAD
Both Mayo and Manuel pointed this as one of their favorite Manges recordings. Opening track of the All is Well album, it’s a very simple tune with two-lines lyrics, but the structure surprise with some little twists.
Manuel’s lyrics are about some very serious mental illness that, as usual, wasn’t taken very seriously. Mayo. “it’s a shame we never play this live”.
5. UNCLE WALT
I’m not a right-winger! Two hands, eight fingers!. “Uncle Walt” is an example of the Manges ironic and surreal visions and was first released on the 7” split with Seattle’s legends HEAD.
Mayo: “The first song I recorded as the Manges guitarist” Andrea: ”I love all the Disney references we put in those lyrics, in a silly song about Uncle Sam, war and post traumatic stress”.
6. SERENITY NOW!
Serenity Now! was released in the Bad Juju album in 2010. “I wrote the lyrics after dreaming to die”, Andrea says, “that didn’t scare me at all in that moment, I was totally accepting my fate. Wish I always had that kind of inner peace”.
But, as Mayo point out, “the song has some moving, restrained anger that makes it different from the rest of our stuff”.
7. GUINEA PIG
Opening track of 2015’s Florida EP, and another example of how the Manges express themselves better when they keep it simple and straight to the point. Andrea: “this sound is probably the most powerful we ever had, thanks to the mixing and mastering at Blasting Room in Colorado. Both me and Manuel love this tune. When you find just two chords and a stupid melody that can’t get out of your head for days, you know you have a good one”.
8. BLAME GAME
Maybe a bit too cheesy to stand the test of time, but Blame Game is a pop-punk tune that fit in with the late 90s vibe. It was the stand-out song from the debut album The Manges ‘R’ Good Enough and, in Mass’ words, “it took us around the world”.
Still, Manuel hates playing this song live. Andrea: “we always skip it at rehearsal to keep Manuel in a good mood”.
9. THE LAST OF THE SAVAGES
Maybe it’s not the first song you notice while listening to Bad Juju, but The Manges believe The Last Of The Savages just, well, rocks. “Every time I play it live I fall in love again with this song”, Andrea admit, “it’s just so much fun to play”.
Manuel: “the idea for this one, as many Manges songs, came in a dark moment, while I daydream stories of losers and bring out something to fit Andrea’s music and shine a positive light on those characters”.
10. VENGEANCE IS MINE
2006’s The Manges Go Down is the most beloved album by the Manges followers, and definetely the most successful.
Vengeance Is Mine is, not surprisingly, Manuel’s favorite. “It’s powerful, catchy and tight”, he says, “I’m very proud of it”.
11. ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
A hi-speed tune with thoughtful lyrics from The Manges ‘R’ Good Enough, Elvis Has Left The Building is one of Mass’ favorite.
“It reminds me of 2001, when we recorded it in New York”, he says, “and there’s Elvis in the title!”.
12. MOTION PICTURE REST HOME
Motion Picture Rest Home, from “Bad Juju”, is not only a fan-favorite live anthem but probably the best example of Manges dark humor and Manuel’s fantasy world. You lived your show business life to the fullest, lost all your money producing Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy’s unfunniest movie, frequent subject in Andrea and Manuel’s conversations), and end up alone in a rest home… watching Tv and having dinner with Banana Split’s Drooper. Yeah it’s a fictional story, but it could have happened, right?
The rest home also ties to Bubba-Ho-Tep, another Manges favorite (that’s where the “All Is Well” line is from”).
13. NEXT TO ZERO
Opening track of The Manges 2020 album Punk Rock Addio!
Just joking, it’s not out yet. “But it’s our best record ever!”, Mass says. Couldn’t make it in this Top-12 though.
Other songs mentioned were Long Way Back, Storming Out, Ten Shots, 80s Soldier, Duck And Cover… not really easy to put together the taste of all 4 of them.
Thank you for listening!
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