The Managers: Special
By Jacob Conner
Ten years and 20 musicians in the making, 'Special' fuses The Managers' live energy and ska chops into an uplifting slab of plastic. The band's devotion to the style makes it seem a bit UK79 (Running in particular sounds just like Madness), but as with Katchafire's 'Revival', they singularly and competently service a sector of the music-loving community. Infiltraitor and Who Am I Kidding? are instantly familiar, as is a version of Split Enz's My Mistake. Loosenut alternates a horn-laden skank verse with an effective minor key refrain and Charge gets manic in the choruses, with lyrics lifted from Winston Churchill. Paul Frewin acquits himself well as the unifying voice of the project and everyone else more than minds their roles, some staccato brass punctuating the arrangements. Production sounds kinda no frills at times but I guess with this many instruments, each element needs its own clearly demarcated space. Slip into this to bring on an early summer.