South London's finest, The Manor, drop the lyrically personal & musically upbeat, Free The Geezer EP
Originating as three college friends, Danny Graft, Scotty Stacks and Jonny Dutch are The Manor. They now stand to release their 7-track EP entitled Free The Greezer, along with amusing ‘For Life’ visuals.
For those unfamiliar, The Manor have been together since 2007 (Kempton B., Forge, 2018) and persisted to make music seemingly born from London pubs. “Fusing UKG with elements of grime and rap to a fierce sense of local pride and a love of their community”, the trio are unique in sound and attitude. They are London’s working-class lads; that familiar mate you see down the pub; and the one always on for a good crack. This squad has been most definitely working hard - after their biggest headline at The Roundhouse; supporting The Streets on their recent UK tour; forming a new podcast; and performing at the PFA Awards.
We are now passed Free The Geezer EP, “which sees some of the most interesting and provoking material yet” from South London’s finest.
We are introduced to this body of work, with ‘True Lies’. A record that pours smoothness and clarity - almost hypnotising the listener into the EP from the jump. We witness a narrative of not expecting anything, thus being grateful for the new, the unexpected, and the interesting. “Tomorrow is another day.”
A warming glow of bright bass and soft pads segue us into the second track, ‘For Life’. This is fun and good energy; seemingly what the boys represent. Here, we are slapped with the (now continued) inability to remain still - this EP literally takes your soul and returns it to you equipped with vibes and movement. This record is partnered with a music video that was also released yesterday. This lightly spirited, tongue-in-cheek video is a parody of Made In Chelsea “minus the posh boys but with still all the drama” – very funny; lighthearted, as the group seem to forever be; and assisted by the brightly toned Lily Mckenzie.
‘Only Fools and Nauses’ crashes in with a phenomenal garage vibe. Shuffling percussion and rhythmic bass push this record forward whilst the MCs discuss interesting stories one after the other.
The EP also holds a mature and serious nature, as we can hear on ‘Ex Girl’, which contains an excellent, emotion-pulling chorus. As the boys detail past relationship and delicate memories, this is one such track that may of us can relate to in some way. This honest and genuine nature continues until the last track, ‘The Lottery’; and what a song to finish with. Frank and truthful stories are uncovered from the group; their path; their ups and downs. The raw reality.
Instilled in this record is a “growing sense of personality, maturity and diversity of genres and topics”, and the squad very much “continue to underline their heavyweight reputation in the game”. The variation and levels of style here are abundant; providing sonic interest and perks of attention throughout. Overall, the biggest thing to stand out from this EP, personally, was the continued good energy, impulse to move to the records, and variety in styles and content. This EP is sun, park, and lagers; weekend at the pub; driving around, windows down, air-con on; house party with mates; feet shuffling, hands raised whilst slowly manoeuvring over to that girl you just clocked. Got a dead party, family gathering, school disco, or wedding celebration happening; buss this on, vibes will change. Great evolution from the guys and a nice piece of work.