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The World Beneath This World Is Brightening

Miami, Fl-based R. Sell is like the Robert Pollard of the lo-fi, ambient country-folk genre. Following on the heels of 2009's SLOW DRUGS AND OTHER SORROWS and 2008's ON THE WRONG SIDE OF A SATURDAY NIGHT, this is now the prolific songwriters 11th album as The Atlantic Manor since 2001. Recorded quickly with no rehearsals, the LP moves along at a molasses-slow pace, with tenderly affecting tracks such as "Vessels" and "Black River Runs" even surpassing the 10-minute mark. Each composition features Sell's gently-picked guitar with languid, Bob Segar / Neil Young-like draw, with the occasional spare drum, piano, or keyboard drone for accompaniment. But despite the measured, epic tempos, Sell's forlorn and expansive music always inspires thoughtful reflection rather than ennui-much like the sprawling, lonely praries it's meant to evoke.
Rick Sell’s The Atlantic Manor continues to pave the way for DIY indie rock. While the band has always and unfortunately flown under the radar, the group always seems to be masterful when it comes to crafting the perfect pop gem. They have never sacrificed sound or quality despite being a self-avowed lo-fi artist. Now on their eleventh album, The Atlantic Manor has turned the page with a focus on surreal and cerebral music. Occasionally gravelly voiced, Sell (ironic last name much?) paints his canvases with self-portraits that are introspective and curious. A bevy of noises and oddities saturate each tune without being distracting, instead ladling up the pop feel and serving it to the folks fortunate enough to stumble upon them. I am gracious that I have had the pleasure to not only review the band but hear such terrifically built albums like “The World Beneath This World Is Brightening”.
J-SIN - SMOTHER (Mar 18, 2011)
The Atlantic Manor "The World Beneath this World is Brightening

(Do Too) If any music is ever going to prevent suicide it sure ain't gonna be perky -- it should be sublimely hopeful music, shrouded in subtle dreariness. The Atlantic Manor's work -- somewhere between blues, ambient music, California country rock on downers, and -- I dunno --madrigals? - is just such sound to save some lives. Every Helpline should have this as their call-waiting music
The Atlantic Manor
The World Beneath This World Is Brightening
Do Too Records

"These songs were recorded quickly. There were no rehearsals involved. This is lo-fi outsider d.i.y. The American underground is alive and well. Go start your own band and make the world a better place." (R. Sell)

R. Sell is The Atlantic Manor. During the last decade he's put out a number of CDs. The World Beneath This World Is Brightening is his 11th record since 2001 (almost competing Robert Pollard). The Atlantic Manor (TAM) wander the paths of obscurity, but for sure deserves something more. Because this is very, very good stuff. Appealing, touching, reflective songs filled with (comforting) sadness. Lo-fi-psych-folk-ambient-country-drones but within limits. Listening to The World Beneath This World Is Brightening makes me think of The Velvet Underground (or Reed, and/or Cale solo - or both, imagine Songs for Drella's calmest parts), Bedhead and Galaxie 500. Others have mentioned Songs:Ohia/Jason Molina/Magnolia Electric Co., Clem Snide, Hayden, Damien Rice, or a lo-fi Neil Young. His voice (sometimes) even makes me think of Roky Erickson! Yes. And you could probably name-drop many more.

Name-dropping aside, The Atlantic Manor for sure steer clear of copying and plagiarism. The World... holds nine tracks, and even though some editing would have made a stronger album (it's an hour of music), this is most charming and proper record. Sell also pen poetic lyrics (as well as album/song titles; like On the Wrong Side of a Saturday Night, Slow Drugs And Other Sorrows, or The Desperate Vibe Of Emotional Devastation). The opening "Openings"'s little kid singing e-i-e-i-o (from Old MacDonald had...) goes over to the beautifully, slow floating "Vessels", lasting nearly 15 minutes. The track "The Captains Name Was Death" is really a skin-crawler. Imagine Neil Young collaborating with Bedhead. Other favourites are "Deathcrown", the VU-ish "Apple Dreams", and of course the long stretched (a bit too long, maybe) title track. Not to forget the great, epic (yes, another one -- when you think it'll finish it's only halfway through) closing track, "Black River Runs", which ends down by the riverside.

As someone noted on the Atlantic manor: "...some of the greatest songs you have never heard...lo-fi pop drone masterpieces that will break your heart". Or, as R. Sell states on his site: "I hope the record finds a happy home in your collection." So do I.
LUNA KAFE - LUNA KAFE (Jul 29, 2010)

These are the words printed at the top of a press pack that TPM sent me. I considered myself warned while simultaneously coming to the realization that doing this album review was serious business. When thepaintedman announced the opportunity to be a guest reviewer, I jumped at the idea. I figured I could just sit back with a couple of Dead Guy Ales, kick my feet up, and listen to some tunes. But upon opening the package, I was confronted with a Lo-Fi, black and white sticker of a morose figure hunched over in a hospital bed and a document telling me that I must feel sad before listening. It was then that I realized I was definitely in way over my head, but nevertheless, I watched the end of Bambi and ripped off all the heads of my childhood stuffed animals. There, that should do it.

The World Beneath This World is Brightening is a sparse, plodding album dominated by emotional landscapes created by The Atlantic Manor. From the first notes the opening track, which features the unintelligible babbling of a child, to the instrumental soliloquy of the final track, this album is relentless in it’s somber tone. Two 12-plus minute songs book-end this release with droning intensity. What lies in-between does not stray too far from the theme. Due to the static nature of the sonic texture and its relentlessly bleak overtones, I literally felt exhausted after listening this album. I will give the artist the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was intended.

Lyrically, the album is actually quite clever at times. The lyrics create fleeting images that do not reveal so much that the listener can not dwell deep in his own mental devices. The theme of the album is represented in the lyrics as consistently as in the instrumentation. Dark and lonely emotions saturate every stanza. In, perhaps, my favorite song, “Deathcrown”, we hear the lyrics:

A dark cheer for all you did
Deathcrown sickle dance
In your kingdom
You’re God

This is uttered quite skillfully over a triumphant yet melancholy climax in the heart of the album. R. Sell’s vocal range is never really tested on this album. He deliberately stays with a raspy, narrative style of singing that fits well within the context of album.

I think The World Beneath This World is Brightening is a very imaginative piece. The song composition, although simple in nature, is effective in evoking emotion for those with the patience to sit through it. While the album could definitely benefit from a more polished mastering process, the finished product presents a clear and cohesive theme executed fairly well. I think that the album does not do enough to satisfy my personal itch for technical virtuosity or rhythmic excitement. I also recognize that this album falls on the far end of the spectrum of what I expect music to give back to me. I have always found joy within music and can not grasp why one would use music to enhance or bring themselves to a despondent state. For those hesitant to dive right in to this album, pick up The Eels End Times and give that a listen. I think that End Times was able to achieve what this record was striving for, with a just a little extra to keep the listener engaged.
Overall, I did not enjoy the album, but I’m not going to say it is “bad” either. For one, I know very well that my musical taste is subjective and also I would hate to make this guy even sadder. Cheer up, buddy!
"This Beautiful Sadness" is a web-only album – that I had the pleasure to compile for HLFP – by Miami, Florida-based independent outsider band THE ATLANTIC MANOR.
Rick Sell is THE ATLANTIC MANOR. The prolific songwriter already released his 11th album since 2001 as THE ATLANTIC MANOR this year, titled "The World Beneath This World Is Brightening".
And all that without any support by a record company. He is doing it all by himself in true Do-it-yourself-Spirit!

Listening to this great sad music makes me think of NEIL YOUNG and the third THE VELVET UNDERGROUND lp or even some stuff by THE GUN CLUB, but nevertheless Rick clearly sounds like noone else. He has definitely found his own sound: a mix of dark, dreamy country-folk, indie rock and guitar drone music with occasional feedback outburst. Reflective, slow, poetic songs filled with sadness, vulnerability and humanity.
Great stuff! I admit, I find myself getting addicted to his music...
The Atlantic Manor
THE WORLD BENEATH THE WORLD IS BRIGHTENING-(DO IT TOO)- Wow, this guy is going to be catching up with Jandek pretty soon. This guy is Rick Sell, a Floridian who records under the name The Atlantic Manor. I believe this is his 11th record in the last decade (his debut came out tin 2000). And actually the Jandek tag isn’t so far off, Sell records, what he calls, outsider music. This is spare folk and not the kind of stuff that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside though at times Sell’s haunting sonic portraits are beautiful. The songs are languid and in addition to Jandek reminded me a bit of Neil Young’s more spare material and even Smog (now recording under his name, Bill Callahan). On “Falling by the Second”, the 3rd song, you finally get to hear Sell’s vocals and he sings in a whispered drawl while the drums (by Ariel Herrera) and the occasional piano/keyboards (by Bob Platt) add some life to the proceedings. “DeathCrown’ perks things up a bit while the lovely “Apple Dreams” weaves a beautiful tapestry of voice and guitar to tape. For Sell to continue to release these records on his own dime shows the mind and heart of a true artist.
- DAGGER (Sep 13, 2010)
For those unfamiliar with The Atlantic Manor, here’s a brief crash-course. The band consists of one Rick Sell, who records and releases his own music without a label or any promotion outside of whatever Sell himself does. He’s done it this way for years, and it seems to be working alright. His music, under The Atlantic Manor, is a dreamy country-tinged folk that sometimes nears the rock level, but typically maintains tranquility.
The latest by The Atlantic Manor is The World Beneath This World Is Brightening. Outside the odd kid-vocal opener “Openings”, the album begins with the epic near-15 minute “Vessels”, which emphasizes Sell’s predilection toward dreamy folk songs. The entire song maintains a calmness that is both invigorating and interesting, as Sell chimes in with vocals masked by subtle volume levels and a penchant for being modest yet vividly insightful. In fact, despite reviewing at least four of The Atlantic Manor’s albums, we have yet to come across an image of Sell himself.

The World Beneath This World Is Brightening continues The Atlantic Manor down the path of creative obscurity. “Failing By The Second” goes through nearly two minutes of folk-y acoustic strums and laid-back percussion mixed with a powerful electric guitar drone before Sell comes in with his country-tinged vocals. This blend is his signature, and it makes for a very original sound; a sound that he has mastered over and over again through countless albums. And I’m sure I say this each time I acquire a new album by The Atlantic Manor, but I’ll say it again — this is my favorite one yet.
FensPost - FensePost (May 17, 2010)
THE ATLANTIC MANOR – The World Beneath This World is Beginning
( Brace yourself for some heavy-duty gloom and
despair, because the always morose, yet still potent and captivating
Do-It-Yourself indie music auteur R. Sell is at it again. Everything that
makes this guy’s music so singularly moody, compelling, and, most of all,
extremely poignant is present and accounted for. Dour mumbled vocals?
Check. Spare, but eloquent songwriting? Ditto. Slow trudging tempos and
equally gradual unhurried beats. Yep, they’re both here as well.
Tight’n’tuneful arrangements that are cut right to the bone and eschew
needless flashy show-off pyrotechnics in favor of a more admirably
restrained and understated approach? Oh boy, do we ever get this stuff
done with astounding skill and remorseless precision. The songs alternate
between short and to the point and remarkably drawn-out sonic excursions
that buzz and hover in the air like some kind of beautifully ominous aural
storm cloud. There’s something very haunting about R. Sell’s patented
sadness, a certain profoundly moving sense of fragile humanity and basic
vulnerability, that makes his dark and depressing albums powerful
experiences to listen to. If we lived in a more fair world, R. Sell would
be a household name with multiple awards and plaudits to his credit. Alas,
we don’t. But fortunately R. Sell still plugs away and keeps on doing his
distinctly sorrowful thing with impressive grace and persistence. - Joe
Atlantic Manor’s new one is another collection of silky, lengthy lullabies (the opener is 15 minutes long), and, again, they are serene instead of insipid. Their dreamy, leisurely pace lowers blood pressure and slows down heart rates without boring one to tears. As a busy New Yorker on the go, I find it remarkable how suddenly a stroll with Atlantic Manor mesmerizes me.
Their warm brew can be described as a gentle puree of lo-fi, dream-pop, and twangy singer-songwriterdom, but there are no hipster theatrics here – the music is simple and effortless. With just enough drone and fuzz to offer some relative dissonance, “The World” is melodically narcotic. It’s chicken soup, or perhaps codeine, for the indie rock soul. Bottom Line: Ask your doctor if Atlantic Manor is right for you.
Overall Rating:
THE ATLANTIC MANOR ‘The World Beneath This World is Brightening’ (Do Too)

SOUNDS LIKE? Have you ever been sitting around a campfire, maybe at a festival, and you are chatting, high on booze and the smell of trees, a merry bunch of friends and strangers all getting along in a way that would make Jesus proud, when a natural lull in the conversation leaves nothing but the sound of a lone guitar and a lonesome voice singing softly? You know what I’m on about, that moment where the music that has always been there is heard by everyone, and no one says a word, they just listen and- I don’t know if it’s the power of the moonlight, the smell of damp wood burning, the sparks that shoot into the sky like falling stars in reverse, or the booze- everyone finds they are sharing a living breathing moment. The music comes to a slow halt and the guy with the guitar looks up and he’s surprised to find everyone is listening, and not only listening, but feeling the music. He makes a slight remark, everyone laughs and the conversation carries on like nothing happened. That’s what this album sounds like, every single song. It took a while. But the more I listened, the more I had to listen. Normally I listen to an album a few times and I’m ready to start giving my opinion, but with ‘TWBTWIB’ (sorry, it’s a long title, it’s up there if you need reminding) I’m still not sure if I'm ready, and I’ve listened to it well into the double figures. There’s just something within the music that I can’t pin down, and I don’t think I ever will. It’s a presence that intrigues and comforts at the same time. This is music that sounds like it is being released rather than played, a natural sound, as if the voice and fingers of R.Sell are themselves instruments being played directly by the great muse. This is also the 11th release by The Atlantic Manor, which gives me hope for the human race. The Atlantic Manor (AKA R.Sell) has found exactly what he was put on this planet to do, and he is doing it. All we have to do is sit back and listen. I can’t ask for more than that.
For your consideration: Florida's the Atlantic Manor. Though the prolific group have already released an impressive eleven albums, they somehow remain hidden from the mainstream music scene. According to what I've sampled from their catalogue, though, the Atlantic Manor serve as proof of what is so often true: quality music usually is absent from the mainstream.

In their pursuit to "keep the underground alive one record at a time," the Atlantic Manor create music that is massively appealing for its blending of endearing genres but is conventionally less accessible in its insistence on unpredictable and unique arrangements. That is, the band produces psych, folk, and drone country dirges, much in the same vein as Lambchop, Deer Tick, or Bonnie "Prince" Billy, that would be out of place on local radio but seem destined for vinyl on summer nights among friends. If their latest release, "The World Beneath This World is Brightening," isn't immediately appealing, don't disregard the Atlantic Manor; after all, a twelfth record is probably already in the works.
Posted by THINGS AS THEY ARE at 8:37 PM 0 comments
- THINGS AS THET ARE (May 10, 2010)
The Atlantic Manor – The World Beneath This World is Brightening

According to the band, this is The Atlantic Manor’s 11th album. Their entire career they’ve been a DIY style band, so that’s one heck of an accomplishment, if for no other reason than for sticking with creating music for so long. As for the band themselves, you can imagine them as something of a low-fi Pink Floyd, I guess. Or maybe you can think of them as a psychedelic-tinged doom-folk band. It’s interesting to hear a band so gloomy and somber, yet utilizing pieces of genres that are not necessarily of that mood. There’s an overwhelming sense of spiritual contemplation to accompany the otherwise darkly moody music, which makes for a compelling listen.
The main man behind the band The Atlantic Manor is R. Sell who really believes in the DIY Indie music spirit and The World Beneath This World is Bright is his 11th release. Rounding out the group is, Ariel Herrera on drums and Bob Platt on piano & keyboard. Having heard other releases from the band before this one I had a pretty good idea what to expect and I wasn’t disappointed. The band’s music goes against any formula for so called, ‘music industry success’. The songs found on The World Beneath This World is Bright are overloaded with instrumentation with the vocal part not starting until the song has run up to a minute or two. Also the songs long running times of up to 12-15 minutes almost guarantee little of no mainstream radio airplay. But you know what that’s alright with this band because their music is done for the sake of art and their not looking to line their walls with framed gold and platinum selling records or a star on some walk of fame sidewalk. The band’s motto of, ‘go start your own band and make the world a better place,’ probably best describes their true Indie spirit.
The best way that I could describe the music found on The World Beneath This World is Bright is for those of you old enough to remember record players to take a 45 rpm record of some Neil Young music and run it at the slower 33-1/3 speed that will add in a melodic droning element.
This release gets started with the appropriately titled track, “Openings,” that features a small child talking set against a simple guitar part. The song is short lasting for only 1-minute before rolling into track-2, “Vessels,” that goes to the other end of the spectrum with a running time of just under 15-minutes with the vocals not even starting until the 2-minute mark of the song.
My favorite track happens to also be the album’s title track, “The World Beneath This World is Bright,” which offers up one of the more hopeful and up mood style of song lyrics that are found on this release.
The band’s song lyrics are filled with somewhat cryptic meanings, that depending on your personal viewpoint could mean one of several different things, but I did keep hearing this underlying spiritual/higher power vibe in many of the album’s songs.
The Atlantic Manor’s music isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but for those that do like it you’re in for a musical feast of meaty goodness. If you’re in an up mood and looking for some music to rock out to then definitely avoid this release but if you’re more in a reflective mood then The Atlantic Manor’s The World Beneath This World is Bright will give you a lot of good music to chomp on.

Rating: 8 out of 10
“I am proud to be lo-fi. I know of no other way.”

The above sentiment offered by R. Sell, the Miami based singer-song writer known as The Atlantic Manor, has so much heart it inspires. He rightly suggests that no matter your resources, you can find a way to record and circulate your music amongst a community of listeners. Over the last decade R. Sell has released 11 diy, lo-fi records under the The Atlantic Manor moniker and from the looks of it, this dude has no intention of stopping anytime soon. Sell strongly identifies with the American underground music scene whose beauty and authority comes from the pure motives and raw energy of those artists that dare to do something out of the ordinary. With complete disregard for the monotonous expectations of the cacophonous clamor of the music industry’s crony-capitalist regime, Sell envisions the American underground as a community and a movement that is required in order to maintain any semblance of genuine and authentic artistry within America’s broader music economy. Simply said the shear volume of work and the grit and guts with which this project has been engaged is awesome. But it must also be said to be problematic. Any record from one moment to the next can be said to have varying degrees of relevance, but I am unsure if this can be said of The Atlantic Manor’s 11th release The World Beneath This World is Brightening.

The record opens with lackadaisical strumming and a twisted child like voice singing what seems to be a satanic version of Old McDonald Had a Farm. The second track Vessels somewhat resembles Joy Division’s Atmosphere. It is a 14 minute long cyclical and meandering progression with muted and indistinct lyrics. The strategy of the track is the same as Velvet underground’s Heroine, a simple structure with vocals littering the staccato guitar notes, though the track never builds, it does not crescendo, and it does not really move a muscle from the first note until the last. The next song, Failing By the Second, begins with a muted strum subtly sounding in the background, and a metronomic back beat that is upfront and unwavering, save the occasional fill. The song is minor and brooding; it is haunted by guitar distortion that mimics the sound of a depressed whale song or the moan of steel beams as shift back and forth in some post-apocalyptic wind.

Like the majority of The Atlantic Manor’s music, The Captains Name Was Death is structured by the cyclical pattern of a few strummed chords. R. Sell’s voice is bloodshot with humility. The track just rolls along as tremolo accents and an inartful clean tone guitar solo dance with the synthesized sound of a wood saw song. The drums for DeathCrown, the epitome of diy recording, have Stephen Morris all over them, but it is at this very moment that R. Sell’s formulations become tired. The songs run into to each other, making it difficult to decipher one from the other. While Apple Dreams definitely has wistful qualities, these qualities are mere replications of what was heard for 14 minutes in Vessels. The songs may not be exactly the same, but some might say that one’s existence makes the other obsolete.

The World Beneath This One is Brightening, like the record itself, is out of sync and out of tune; it is a mélange of minor chords and baritone mud sack sadness that never really translates into anything. At this point it becomes clear that the record is limited in its depth. The transition from The World Beneath to The Good Son is astounding in its sameness. The closer is a 12 minute depressant that perhaps encapsulates Sell’s best effort. Black River Runs’ attempt to infuse various unorthodox sounds into the haphazardly strummed guitar backed by a syth drone is quite appealing. I have received much of Atlantic Manor’s back catalog and am eager to peruse the collection of songs. Like a second-hand store, The Atlantic Manor conceals the occasional diamond in the rough, but that gem is all too often embedded in throw away tracks. I understand that The Atlantic Manor wants to be profoundly productive—11 albums in 10 years—but I would say that the band/the song-writer would be very well served if they or he or whomever was more selective of the parts of themselves that they choose to exhibit; that is if they would like their community of listeners to grow.



Other Music
Slow Drugs and Other Sorrows (2009)
On the Wrong Side of Saturday Night (2008)
All the Best Girls Have Winter Hearts (2007)
Sneaking Up on the Death Scene (2006)
The Trouble that You Left (2006)
Special is Dead (2005)
Failing by the Second (2004)
The Desperate Vibe of Emotional Devastation (2002)
The Hate We Get Going (2001)
When I am a Viking (2001)

Posted in 2010, 4 Points, Americana, DIY, Format, Frederick Foxtrott, Genre, Indie, Indie Media, LP, Miami, Miscellaneous, Music, Music Review, Places, Psychedelia, Rating, The Atlantic Manor, Year | Tagged Music Review, Bands, Music, Frederick Foxtrott, 4 Points, Americana, Artists, Miami, Florida, 2010, The World Beneath This One Is Brightening, The Atlantic Manor, DIY, Do Too Records, R. Sell |
The Atlantic Manor is a Florida based band with a singular purpose, to be your auditory backdrop for your bad days. With there 11th album The World Beneath This World Is Brightening you get the immediate impression that almost every track on this album is an exercise in the art of ambient drone. But don’t worry this is not one of the purely instrumental albums that seem to constantly be popping up from so many indie bands. This album dips into the extended instrumental portions but eventually leads into a somber set of lyrics that can best be compared to a subdued version of Neil Young in style if Young had a lower voice.

The dark nature of this album would attract anyone, in the mood for an evening of solitary reflection. The World Beneath This World Is Brightening should probably come with a warning label though, stating that it should not be mixed with alcohol or other medications and doing so might be a danger to the listeners health. But that is the thing about this album it’s an emotional piece of work and should be given credit for its ability to keep from being tedious, given all of the extended ambient instrumental portions. Right when you think you can’t take anymore of an extended psychedelic progression, Rick Sell the band’s lead singer delivers a strong vocal performance, which brings the listener right back into the fold. The key tracks on this album are Failing By The Second, Death Crown and The World Beneath This Word.

Note: Other bands that have had impressively dark and emotionally charged albums that come to mind are The Antlers with their 2009 effort Hospice and the band Timbre Timbre’s last self titled album. The former revolves around the pains of losing someone to an illness while the latter about the internal darkness of the soul made manifest through Brothers Grimm-esc lyrictry. You can count The Atlantic Manor among these dreadnoughts of the subdued sounds.
The Atlantic Manor: The World Beneath This World Is Brightening
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2010 1:03 PM

R. Sell, the Miami DIY musician operating as The Atlantic Manor, has done it again. His new album The World Beneath This World Is Brightening has some traces of optimism when compared to his 2009 album Slow Drugs and Other Sorrows. After kicking with kids voice singing Old McDonalds Had a Farm Sell goes in at the deep end for the fourteen minutes plus Vessels, a dreamy acoustic guitar driven dirge punctuated by wandering keyboard touches. Sell has adopted a story telling voice for this one, half way between Mark E. Smith and Henry Rollins.

Sell's main themes are sadness and loss, making music that hurts. Failing By The Second, the title track of his 2004 album, sits well with the new songs and he takes the bleakness of Nick Cave to the next level. For Sell The Good Son is a blur that might be real . No Hollywood endings, but there is a glimmer of hope shimmering through the cracks of a fucked up world in the title track The World Beneath This World Is Brightening and maybe, just maybe there will be no more war. A snippet of the gospel song Down By The Riverside turns up ate the end of Black River Runs.
The Atlantic Manor – The World Beneath This World Is Brightening (Do Too Records)
Having reviewed the 2009 album, Slow Drugs And Other Sorrows, here quite recently (and loved it straightaways), I was expecting, and hoping, for more of the same. I was not disappointed, for R. Sell and his associates deliver another hour of gentle slowcore, where the music has been basted with a sombre brew, but this time with an added marinade that takes the music past melancholy to the edge of menace on occasion – and it is the better for it.

After the first track “Openings” (a toddler talking / singing with guitar accompaniment), the levity is submerged with quiet blasts of darkness. “Vessels” gives us “Black Sky Day… Feeling ok… Lost in the grey… And cold as a trench”.
“The Captain’s Name Was Death” is another case in point with lines like “Black scrapes the starless sky”, and is followed by “Deathcrown” (“Spies in your head… Had you swallow your heart”); sombre stuff indeed.

More upbeat (lyrically if not in tempo) are the two closing numbers, “The Good Son” and “Black River Runs”, both delivering their message with a ‘blue sky’ lightness when compared to the previous darkly riveting tracks.

So, quite a forlorn meal you may think, but there is a sheer beauty that runs through all of this music that makes it so palatable. These songs may be deep, dark and even forbidding on occasion, but they have an absolute allure that sustains and rewards the listener. You might need more than one bite at this cherry, but it will be this second bite that rewards all those who found the flavour a little too bitter the first time around.
Kev A.
Some artists are keeping the underground world of music alive by perpetuating the lo-fi/DIY culture. Some due to financial limitations, others because they are aiming for an "honest aesthetic" and Atlantic Manor is one of them

Behind this name is R. Sell who has kept writing, recording and producing his own music for about ten years now. A month ago R. Sell proposed to send me a copy of its 11th release, The World Beneath This World Is Brightening. Three weeks later I had received a parcel with two CDs, a t-shirt (now my nightgown, it's an XL you see...) and other goodies

And R.Sell is not only a nice man who likes to give free stuff away he also makes utterly beautiful and sad music. The World Beneath This World Is Brightening is a 9-track lo-fi pop-drone masterpiece. I can't help picturing myself listening to the album in a meadow or on a beach at sunset. Hypnotizing. Recommended if you like Neil Young, My Bloody Valentine, The Antlers and music in general. Enjoy



The Atlantic Manor – Slow Drugs and Other Sorrows (Do Too Records)
If you know nothing about this band then I know more than you, even though I know very, very little. What I do know is that I love this album from start to finish. This duo is like Idaho with the ability to really wig out, but without the treacle trowel. (They don’t need it, and, to be honest, nobody does it as well as Idaho anyway).

Eight self-penned ditties that range from the twelve minute slow-core “Bad News For The News Scene” to the very sprightly (and just as off-the–wall and lyrically dense) “A Clear Day For Love” which would derail you coming right at the end of the album if it wasn’t for the earlier rock-out “A Silent Moment” (which it most certainly isn’t).

As the album title suggests, it’s mainly a sad, slow journey, and it doesn’t get any better than “Fire In The Sky”, a very sad and gentle musing on insecurity, wanting to ask THAT girl to dance with you: “I sit in my car And I stare at the sky. I get the nerve to go inside And I don’t have the moves But I’m still going to try”. I haven’t heard a song tug at my heart this way, taking me back to my own place in my youth, since The Weakerthans “East Kildonan”. Yep, it’s that good. Pass the big hanky, please; I’m playing it again.
Kev A.
Nothing gets me down better and faster than the latest album by determinedly obscure Florida-based low-fi Do-It-Yourself underground indie singer/songwriter supreme R. Sell. This guy rarely, if ever, comes across like a happy camper. Instead R. Sell frequently seems to be in a very deep and heavy morose funk from which there is no easy escape. I mean this all in a positive way. Nobody trudges through basic human feelings of regret, sorrow, sadness, and plain ol’ negative emotions with the same arresting anguish or beautifully laconic eloquence that R. Sell brings to one hauntingly gloomy song after another. The tempos usually crawl along at a gradual clip. The beats are likewise pretty slow and subdued. The arrangements are tight, yet still tuneful and effective. Some of the songs, like the brief, yet touching “Do You Still Have a Heart,” are extremely short and to the point. Other tracks such as “Bad News for the New Scene” are impressively lengthy and extensive sonic work-outs. Each and every last song hits the poignant bull’s eye with often striking results. Granted, this sure ain’t the type of music to lift your spirits up when you’re down, but damn does it have a way of ringing around in your mind for hours after you finish listening to it. - Joe Wawzryniak
With Slow Drugs And Other Sorrows, The Atlantic Manor quietly have released their 10th album of slow and propulsive noise folk that is eager for you to tune in. This record has an undercurrent of energy that is always on the edge of erupting with several intense instrumentals along side climbing tracks like the over seven minute "The Fire In The Sky". Slow Drugs And Other Sorrows finds The Atlantic Manor really zeroing in on what they do best, which is to isolate R. Sell's vocals, while never losing focus on instrumentation. The songs are also full of surprises like how the twelve minute and mostly instrumental "Bad News For The New Scene" can hold your attention with perfectly placed piano or the revved up electric two minute untitled closing track. Clearly if you are looking for a band still swimming under the radar that is worth checking out then look no further then Florida's Atlantic Manor - you also better hurry because I am sure album number 11 is on its way!

Key Track: "Truant Heart"

Band With Similar Fire: Magnolia Electric Co.
Vocalist and guitarsmith R. Sell, mastermind behind The Atlantic Manor, has probably heard the expression “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” more than the rest of us. This only seems logical since his music bleeds this theory at a slow drip upon the dusty, unkempt floors of indie rock. There isn’t a much better example of a man’s strive for artistic freedom over commercial success than with this guy. And with his 10th (yes, 10th!) DIY release Slow Drugs and Other Sorrows, we get another look at the dark exploitations of the imaginary freedoms we tend to treat as all to real. This is maddening. This is strange. This is cool.

Every song on Slow Drugs and Other Sorrows has it’s own personality and sense of well being. The creepy yet catchy track “Truant Heart” is reminiscent of Zepplin at their storytelling best (void of all the LOTR bullshit of course). And, quick but sweetly deafening “Do You Still Have A Heart” sounds fresh from the end credits of a Jim Jarmusch film with it’s taunting and happy piano groans.

It may be hard to rid your mind of Anton Newcombe theories when you hear of The Atlantic Manor’s crazy work ethic and avoidance of the mainstream media and labels. But, The Atlantic Manor, unlike BJM, seems to be a project truly based on a continuous love for the art of music and storytelling. On his website, he proudly dotes, “go start your own band and make the world a better place.” If that isn’t proof enough, the splendid operative means of what is his 10th album in 9 years should do. Yes, the strings of heartache have washed out upon the bay of The Atlantic Manor. And R. Sell is still fishing for them through beautiful songs; he is surely never going to quit.
Miami songwriter R. Lee, mastermind of The Atlantic Manor is firmly rooted in the underground. releasing DIY albums since 2001. His new one is called Slow Drugs and Other Sorrows, a musical journey through the horrors of addiction. It's so lo-fi that it actually might hurt you ears a times, overwhelming you like a tidal wave and it will get you hooked but in a good way.

R. Sell plays guitar and sings, with J. Bjel taking care of the drums and keyboards. Recorded quickly without overdubs the nine songs on this album take you on a trip to the back alleys of the scene, the part that's not about the bliss of the rush, but about scoring and coping wit the every day angst ghat comes with it. Slow Drugs and Other Sorrows is a sparse album that is harse and tender. R. Sell obviously cares about his subject matter and he needs only a few words to tell a story. Recommended if you can handle the bleak stuff of Nico
Another slow, inconsequential album from these unpretentious sadsacks. Turtle-paced, looping instrumentation, minimal vocals, and some seriously long durations make this a very hard album to slog through.

If you’re in the right mood, though, its hypnotic repetitiveness will put you in a bittersweet mood. A tall glass of bourbon and contemplation on beloved, deceased pets may also help.

Bottom Line: The perfect musical accompaniment to an existential sigh.
Notable Tracks: I like the semi-upbeat one midway through the album that didn’t make me want to slit my wrists.


The Atlantic Manor
ON THE WRONG SIDE OF SATURDAY NIGHT-(DO TOO)- Florida introvert Rick Sell has been creating downcast rock for the past several years (his debut was released in 2001) and each record has been better than the one before it. The guy hails from Miami, FL but I’m guessing doesn’t spend his day shirtless on the beach (more likely with a shirt on in his basement). With record titles like FAILING BY THE SECOND, THE HATE WE GET GOING and SNEAKING UP ON THE DEATH SCENE you’re not going to be getting any kind of flowery pop here but if you dig early Neil Young or Smog then this will endear itself into your hermetic heart. My faves here are “A Pause Before Dust” (w/ some gorgeous piano playing) and the gentle “Town and Country” (I’m guessing those titles go with the songs I like but I could be wrong as the songs are not listed on the back cover). Dive head first into the Atlantic Manor…misery never sounded so beautiful.
Are you sitting in a lonely log cabin somewhere? The rain dripping from the trees? Fingering the barrel of a Smith and Wesson .45 and considering where best on your head to aim? Not sure if whacking yourself is the right thing to do? Well take a listen to this CD and you won’t be in any doubt that the safest course is to blow your brains to kingdom come!

I used to think that Leonard Cohen was pretty much the guru of Music For The Suicidal, with his endless scab-picking about women, gods and despair. With Cohen, the darkness comes from carefully crafted words and his mournful singing style. On the recording, the atmosphere is primarily defined by the music.

ATM has produced 9 separate albums over the years and proudly trumpet that they are 100% do-it-yourself. The members revel in their obscurity and do everything they can to stay below the pop culture radar.

The style is very slow-paced, almost dirge-like music with occasional snippets of freeform poetry (like words carved on the walls of an outhouse) interspersed throughout the recordings. The songs have titles like “Wood Soul” and “Trouble Box”.

Vocalist R. Sell has a voice that bears a strong resemblance to that of the lead singer of Procol Harum. His approach is a kind of laconic lyric delivery, as though every ounce of energy has been drained from his soul; a dead man with nothing left to lose.

ATM is obviously not in this for the money. They glory in their underground status. This recording has a dreary attraction to it, though. Despite the dark, deserted house ambience, the music is oddly restful and comforting.

Summary: A refreshing change from all the relentless, Teflon-coated pop out there. Musical analogs are Neil Young and The Velvet Underground. This one is worth a listen. It’s staying on my shelf.
You might ask yourself: What does a snowy picture of a barn in the Pacific Northwest town of Edison have to do with a band called The Atlantic Manor? Feel free — it would be a viable question. Well, let me tell you. This is a pretty strange place for such a barn — one that would be suited for, say, Eastern Washington or on east to the Midwest. But then again, the image fits the music made by The Atlantic Manor, and I was struggling to dig something up (as I took this picture a few weeks back as part of my Going Nowhere: An Edison Snow Day series, I know I have the rights to the image and am entitled to use it when and how I please).

With country-tinged, folk vocals and softly pleasant, expansive instrumentation, the music The Atlantic Manor (MySpace) makes is a refreshing blend of the old and the new. Take, for example, the lengthy second track “You Are Forgiven”, where a four minute instrumental opening stretches into a mesmerizing expanse of sound.

There’s a vast difference between the grated vocals of R. Sell and the smooth orchestration backing them. But it’s not an awkward difference, just one of note. The contrast is emphasized by the piano-heavy element of virtually every song. This is most apparent in tracks like “Old Dogs” and “Wood Soul”, as well as the aforementioned “You Are Forgiven”.

On The Wrong Side Of A Saturday Night, like Sell’s entire catalog, is self-released and filled with folk songs that are both gripping and heartwarming. His music is packed with an emotive passion emphasized both in vocals and lyrics, as well as in the piano and guitar accompaniment. Yet it is truly DIY — hence the lack of a press image and the normal entourage of promotional materials bands tend to carry around with them these days.

Folk fans will rejoice at Sell’s ability to craft some of the most amazing underground folk songs around, and as the album nears conclusion, it’s hard not to get emotional as Sell belts out his vocals on “Destroyer’s Blues” backed by an ever growing percussion and space-y feedback-filled guitar. This, like all albums by The Atlantic Manor, is a true winner — a masterful work of art!
Fire Drills Review:
No label, no support and 9 albums is what Florida's Atlantic Manor resume offers up as they release their newest long player On The Wrong Side Of A Saturday Night. The album is a balanced mix of instrumental and vocal tracks that all pull from a dark, slow and burning indie folk base and never let you reach for the light. This peering out a locked door vibe creates a haunting but yet stellar atmosphere which draws the listener in and keeps you coming back with the strong song structures and interesting perspective!

Key Track: "Wood Soul"

Band With Similar Fire: Songs: Ohia
Early in 2007, I heard of Miami's The Atlantic Manor for the first time when I had the honor of hearing All the Best Girls Had Winter Hearts and I was quite impressed with their work back then. So when I got a copy of their latest release, On the Wrong Side of a Saturday Night, not only was I looking forward to hearing this new collection of work, but also wondered why they are still working on a self-released label. According to the liner notes, the album was "committed to history very quickly in one or two takes. There were no rehearsals involved." All I could say is many other bands can pull off such a thing and still turn out yet another quality product that would put most mainstream music to shame? On the Wrong Side of a Saturday Night is a blend of vocal and instrumental selections that initiates from dark, slow music that leads its listeners into the light. It’s a haunting–though noticeable and original–material that will initially draw one in and have them wanting more. All eleven songs on the album are strong and offer interesting perspectives. The instrumentals are stellar and well produced. This is the band's ninth release, and I am certainly looking forward to their tenth one.
Unhurried, laid-back country/sadsack pop. The slow pace and heavy use of piano almost shuttle this into adult contemporary territory, but a lofi-like drone gives it a warm and pleasant glow. Yarling vocals and twangy guitar help round out this rainy Sunday morning music.
Eight. Think about that number. This is the eighth record in eight years for this indie folk country artist that is probably most comparable to Neil Young, yet still hard to define into one simple genre. That is determination and consistency for any band, but especially for one that will probably never have much of an audience. This is definitely one of those things like Mountain Dew, you just have to have a taste for it or you’ll probably hate it. If you dig it, then you’ve got ten songs on one of eight albums to enjoy (good luck finding those other seven though, I imagine), if not, well, if you hang around here for long you will know there’s a lot of other stuff out there.

That being said, there is something I really enjoy about The Atlantic Manor and something that is a great disturbance in my life and it saddens me a bit that they must co-exist, for a half cup of dirt mixed with a half cup of water makes things a bit too murky to drink. The laid back, depressing folk sound comes with quite touching acoustic melodies, yet are entwined with some of the most difficult vocals to swallow, making for a very long album to endure. Sure, this sounds like something my grandpa might have enjoyed if he weren’t busy singing with the angels in Heaven right now, but I don’t see this making a lot of spins in my abode. At best, this record could be around if I ever feel like being really, really depressed, because this is about as big of a downer I could ever get from an album, but maybe some people are into that. Maybe some people are into every song sounding the same too. Maybe.
The Atlantic Manor
On the Wrong Side of a Saturday Night
Do Too Records

Imagine the scene: you've left everyone behind on some venture or adventure. It's 3 a.m. on an all night drive, and you stop at some lonely truckstop in Middle-of-Nowhere, Texas for scorched coffee and fried eggs, trying to stay awake, wishing you were back home in bed. That's the mood of this album. R. Sell's vocals are world-weary and disillusioned. Tempos are slow and tiredly trudging. It would be good to hear a couple of songs like this, but over the course of a whole album, it's tiring and depressing, and one song runs into another without much distinction, apparently all the same tempo and all the same key, and when the noise arrives to ratchet things up, it's a bit too late. Unlike the person in my scene above, I'm not going anywhere and I have a couch I can crash on, and that's what this album makes me want to do. []
Jen Grover


I will be honest: I had absolutely no idea who The Atlantic Manor was until I heard their newest release, and I will admit that it was quite a musical education.

According to the band, the group is named after one of the worst housing projects in Miami, which "is a very interesting place." They also describe their music as "outsider DIY combined with minimalist dirges, shards of feedback, [and] beautiful melodies."

After listening to All the Best Girls Have Winter Hearts, I certainly have little room for argument.

All the songs are done well and sound great; think Velvet Underground and Neil Young in the indie style. Perhaps the band leaves an original impression on its listeners because they take the non-traditional route of never rehearsing prior to recording, and this CD is no exception. What you hear was recorded in one or two takes, as has been the case with all the band's previous recordings.

All the Best Girls Have Winter Hearts truly showcases the talent that The Atlantic Manor has. It is one of those works that can either be turned up or be turned down for background noise, whatever the listener's mood happens to be at a particular moment.

If you are into "hi-fi" level music, I would not recommend Atlantic Manor. If you are not that particular, however, this release will be quite the listening experience. Just take one listen to tracks such as "Gospel of Bones," "Desperation," and "Open Arms," and you'll get the band's style of music.

I wish more artists--whether indie or mainstream--would let their music speak for itself the way The Atlantic Manor's does. Maybe that is why The Atlantic Manor can get it done in one or two takes--it comes naturally to them, particularly on this album.

Indie rock this good deserves to be shared with others; there are compelling songs here and a great variety of moods. All the Best Girls Have Winter Hearts is well worth experiencing for oneself.
Dear Rick Sell, I would marry you if you I wasn’t already married. Plus it’s probably like illegal in Florida since Dubya’s brother ran the joint. Rick just had a new baby (congratulations, fatherhood is amazing ain’t it?) and that delayed the release of this majestic and beautiful work of art. While it’s only six tracks long, it has all the trappings of a true epic masterpiece. Stirring indie pop is artistically woven with piano, guitar, percussion, and vocals perfectly blended by a strong effort in the recording department by Bob Platt. Beginning with a down-trodden melancholic piece, “Desperation”, you hear Mr. Sell’s heart poured out open and his mind tickled with dreams and careful thoughts. The Atlantic Manor once again delivers a strongly written piece of solid indie pop-rock that has me convinced that I should have clearly heard about this band from some major music publication. Truly incredible folks. And hell Rick, maybe the offer does stand regardless of yours or my situation.

- J-Sin
J. Sin - SMOTHER.NET (Mar 27, 2007)
Rick Sell, who IS the The Atlantic Manor, has been languishing in obscurity in the Miami, Florida area for many years now. Ok, maybe “languishing” is not a good word…..i mean, he has a life (and for all i know could be hanging out with Miami resident Iggy Pop or at least Dwayne Wade ) . But he’s released enough good records that hardly anyone has heard so he does qualify for some kind of folky oddity. In the past I have likened his material to that of Smog, Jandek or Neil Young and on ALL THE BEST GIRLS…. he keeps up that track record: 6 songs amble along in nearly 29 minutes and all of his usual topics are still examined here. Opener “Desperation” adds Bob Platt’s lovely piano as does “Dead King Richard” and both of those have more of a morose/noble Nick Cave vibe while on the latter Sell sings “Spend my days cast away, alone with what is mine.” Both “Gospel of Bones” and “Sadder Thank You Seem” evoke similar territory. In fact , if I had any beef at all with the record is that the songs all have the same tempo throughout. I don’t mind at all because I like Sell’s songwriting and have been listening to it for quite some time but a few friends have made that comment. Things do speed up a bit on the feedback laden “Open Arms” in which Sell hopes for some kind of redemption, asking a loved one to come to his open arms. Amen brother.
Tim Hinley - DAGGER (Mar 27, 2007)
Just wait a sec, listen and you'll see how damn beautiful this music is. For those into low drones, lo-fi, and maybe a bit of arty twang, this is the one for you. Get lost in a sea of non-conformist, ambient noise and willowy vocals that take you out to the woods or the country or something. You'll be enraptured. And all this is done oh-so-very on R. Sells' own. No labels, fancy recording studios, overpriced twiddly computer programs, government grants... go take a look at his website if you dig this and help keep him in tunes.
- CORD MAGAZINE (Mar 27, 2007)
"All The Best Girls Have Winter Hearts"

Atlantic Manor’s lo-fi, DIY attitude comes across crystal clear on the band’s eighth release, a fact of which the band is extremely proud. “All The Best Girls Have Winter Hearts” is an instrumentally driven EP that has no patience for those who just want to rush and get straight to the chorus. The lonesome sounding vocals add extra emotion to the slow, brooding songs that, aside from the misstep of a duet that is “Sadder Than You Seem,” have a dark and sad appeal.

Sounds Like: Lonely lo-fi songs that slowly reveal themselves to you

Key Tracks: “Desperation”

- PLUG IN MUSIC (Apr 12, 2007)
All The Best Girls Have Winter Hearts

While this is my introduction to The Atlantic Manor, Rick Sell has been writing and recording under this name since 2000. With one CD per year and two in 2005, he’s been busy. All The Best Girls Have Winter Hearts is his latest, a collection of six new songs in Sell’s signature lo-fi rock eclecticism.

The EP opens with the epic “Desperation.” At over nine minutes in length, more than six minutes pass before any vocals are heard; it gives the song a very post-rock feel. The instrumental opening is hypnotic, with a double-time percussion and a soft mix of guitar, piano and keyboards. It is immediately apparent that there is great depth behind The Atlantic Manor.

Sell’s vocals are folk-like with roots in old-time country music, but the backing instruments bring forth a much more modern sound that mixes well with his sometimes gravelly voice. “Dead King Richard” could be classified as psychedelic country. Throughout All The Best Girls, the heavy use of keyboards keeps the songs out of the typical country twang.

The Atlantic Manor also distances itself from typical folk and country artists in that the primary emphasis of each song is not on the vocals; rather the vocals compliment the backing instrumentation and appear to be mixed slightly lower than they would be otherwise. Even before opening the liner notes to read the lyrics, it is apparent each song is a poem. Take, for example, this clip from “Gospel of Bones”:

Straight down a dirty hole
A tired joke
That everybody knows
And the rats
Will pick my bones clean
The EP concludes with “Open Arms,” a song that unexpectedly takes the album in a new direction. Filled with feedback, the song is actually quite peppy, leaving the listener on a high note; listening to All The Best Girls is like having a bizarre yet comforting dream and then suddenly waking up refreshed on a bright sunny morning.
FENSE - FENSE POST (Apr 12, 2007)
The Atlantic Manor "All The Best Girls Have Winter Hearts"
This is a really yummy album, that doesn't fit a bunch of the "ism's" that we talk about in underground and extreme music. For the most part, its a rock recording. Now, you know that my history with rock reviews has been a little jaded. Here's where I prove that I'm not totally closed minded to the genre. I like the Atlantic Manor. I liked their last few CDs, and I like this one too. Something about their sound is very real to me. They have a dark visceral sort of vibe to them that just speaks to my core. This recording features great interaction between the piano and the guitar. Both of them are grabbing and ripping at heart strings. The vocalist also has an nitty-gritty/ every-day sort of sound to him which expresses emotion beautifully, and keeps it in a place that we can all connect. The lyrics are all heartfelt and well written poetry. For some reason, this time around the Atlantic Manor are reminding me a lot of Neil Young's more moody work. Thats just a shallow comparison, and it doesn't hold up to any real scrutany. Most of this stays to the slower side of things. Much of this CD is a bit of a downer. Thats OK. I like downers. They seem to be pretty proud of the fact that they have a lo-fi sound (as per their cover and fact-sheet) but I don't think that they are 1/2 as lo-fi as most untrained ears would even recognize. What I hear is controlled noise. There is a place in the underground for this kind of CD. The problem is, it is difficult to find a band that plays this style for the music and not for the money. The Atlantic Manor practices a humble DIY ethic. I offered them a slot in a bigger magazine, and they chose to go with Neo. Thats real.
- NEO-ZINE (Jun 9, 2007)
The Atlantic Manor - All the Best Girls Have Winter Hearts CD
I like how the sound of this CD is basically piano/drums/guitar. I’ve read reviews of the Atlantic Manor that compare them/him (apparently, The Atlantic Manor is just the name Rick Sell uses to release his music) to Neil Young, and I agree. The music reminds me of Young’s slower songs, such as “Cortez the Killer,” but the vocals remind me more of Danny Whitten. Anyway, there are six songs on this disc, and to be honest, I can’t really get into it. Part of the reason may be that the first song is over nine minutes long and the first six of those minutes is basically the same music repeated over and over again…then the vocals start! The slow pace continues (with less lengthy songs, thankfully) until the last track, “Open Arms,” which may be my favorite. It’s faster, noisier, and it reminds me of the Velvet Underground. On another note, I’m not sure who did the artwork, but I like it.
- N.T.D (Nov 18, 2008)
guess I’d describe this as minimalist indie rock with a wistfulness enveloped in lengthy elegant dirges. The first song, “Desperation,” went over 6 minutes in a hypnotic tip-toe before vocals dropped in. Self-described as “lo-fi and heartfelt,” I would argue that this doesn’t sound very lo-fi but it does seem heartfelt. It is melancholic and progresses as softly as it does slowly. I have no short attention span, and this is pretty music that I respect, but it just isn’t something I would listen to a lot. I did like the Velvet Undergroundish dissonance on “Open Arms,” though. - Ben
Lo-Fi and Heartfelt" is the this band's call to arms. Such an adage conjures up different thoughts for different people. Some people might be expecting an Oblivians roar. Other's are probably thinking freak-folk. Neil & Crazy Horse's "Everybody Knows" get's hi-jacked by Radiohead in a very sparce mood but dragging along a special guest, the foggy synth off of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here", for the ride is the impression I am getting in the over 4 minute interlude that the opening track "Desperation" starts with. A somber and southern voice (think Ronnie Van Zandt after a couple bottles of cough syrup learning some Roky Erickson songs...or maybe Green On Red's Dan Stuart in a waking dream) tells tales of depression, wind, rain and bloodstains. When a female voice harmonizes on "Sadder Than You Seem" the clouds lift a little and on the closer "Open Arms" it gives off the impression that maybe everyday isn't so bleak after all in a Galaxie 500 feedback-n-jangle kinda way.


There’s this Chokebore live album called ‘a part from life’ which is a nice title for a live album. And the singer there he says once ‘this is a new track for us… It’s gonna be sad and slow… because we like that shit’. And The Atlantic Manor instantly blinks in my mind. Chokebore’s music is sad (but not always -and from what I read and hear the people behind the music aren’t) and slow (although not all the time) indeed and it for sure ain’t shit. The Atlantic Manor’s music is sad (most of the time –but from what I read, the man behind most of it isn’t, most of the time) and slow (although not all the time) indeed and it sure is as far from shit as Chokebore’s is. And there’s this record that’s Gorilla RecordedTM as usual and has a lot of straightforward guitar and piano lines and a bit of feedback and a lot of Mr Sell’s nasal and slow-paced voice singing with its crazy southern US accent and a bit of children voices with an overdrive.

With a voice like Vic Chestnut’s and more twang than one usually associates with Miami, R. Sell of Atlantic Manor is indier than thou and proud of it. “Fuck Matador” reads one insert blurb. “Now go start your own band and press a record” reads another. Just to make sure we get the idea, Atlantic Manor has self-released not one but two full length CDs, The Trouble that You Left and Sneaking Up On The Death Scene on Do Too Records.

There is a bit of southern gothic to this Atlantic Manor, as evident in the architecture of the music as the distinctly sombre lyrics. R. Sell has a preoccupation with death, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Scud Mountain Boys did roughly the same kind of thing back in ‘93, and it was a selling point. Like the Scuds, Atlantic Manor is a four piece that tends to sound like it plays sitting down around a kitchen table. Although that’s not to say they can’t crank up the distortion and rock.

The Trouble That You Left is a musical journal of loneliness and despair, but for some odd reason, it’s not depressing. ‘Your White Is Gray’ is almost upbeat, with the boppy chorus: “It’s ok, it’s a beautiful day if you want to leave...” ‘Black Dress’ is blackly catchy, and ‘Two Story House,’ despite its length, is an interesting exercise in low-key effect-mongering. ‘It’s Got To Hurt Someone,’ the midtempo pop ballad that closes out the album, makes of misery a palace — or at least, a decent apartment.

Death Scene is darker still — perhaps there’s a method to their madness? Recorded in a few takes with no rehearsal, it’s got a raw quality and less twang than its co-release. Keening guitars moan and cry like suicides in the night while ‘Judas Trip’ sounds a death knell. If R. Sell is a tortured soul hell-bent on self-destruction, this record is a testament. (Let’s hope he isn’t.)

I’ve already reviewed two past Atlantic Manor albums, both of which I truly enjoyed. This follow-up is just as golden and I was surprised to find that the album was recorded in only a couple of takes. It truly showcases the talent that these folks have. Catapulted into the background are eclectic noises that spiral the album into an acid-drenched epiphany. Now please go and find others to join you in appreciating their genius. Indie rock this good deserves to be shared.

- J-Sin

“The Trouble That You Left”

The Atlantic Manor teeter on the edge of greatness. So what if this sounds like eight slightly different versions of the same song? It's that slight difference that makes all the difference. Apparently written on the spot and recorded in one or two takes (R. Sell, the moving force behind T.A.M., calls it "gorilla recording") this is masterfully moody D.I.Y. underground rock. Anyone who has any respect for independent music should own at least one Atlantic Manor cd. This one's my favorite so far. Support the underground.
The Atlantic Manor “The Trouble That You Left

The Atlantic Manor is one of those bands that renews my belief that something new/ exciting/ maybe even extreme can be done with normal everyday music. These are all well crafted rock ballads. The piano sounds great. The vocals are very crowd friendly. Thing is, there are just little unexpected quirks to these songs which enrich the already fertile songwriting to make it seem “heads above the dime-a-dozens.” This CD reminds me a bit of Nick Cave for some reason (though not quite as deep and dark.) and a little bit of Pink Floyd. I’m sure that I could derive entertainment form these songs without imaginative use of sound. With it, I call the CD AMAZING! I’d push this band on the labels. You want to pounce on Atlantic Manor while the genius is still fresh.

The Atlantic Manor is one man named R. Sell, the music is all DIY and is minimal to a point that makes you keep listening to what's next. Slow drum beats and crescendos of cymbals stab occasionally into Sell's Neil Young like vocal delivery and chanting guitar strums. The slower pace and austere lyrics make this an ominously beautiful piece of work. Haunting artwork accompanies this too. This is almost like if Neil young fronted Dead Meadow, rad.
THE ATLANTIC MANOR - The Trouble That You Left

You know that this is a special column when you got not one, but two —count ‘em, man, two — reviews of the latest albums from the always reliable and surprising R.Sell. Yeah, I’m sure there are folks out there who don’t care for either Sell’s sublimely mumbly ravaged moan or constantly down in the dumps gloom-doom attitude. Well, I sure ain’t one of those dudes. In fact, I seriously love Sell’s fiercely dark, stark, and lo-fl minimalist mopey music. Maybe it’s the way Sell’s raggedy-ass voice cuts right to the heart of the matter with a certainly harshly unsentimental straightforwardness. Then again, it could be Sell’s commendable willingness to plumb the very despairing depths of the human soul with a hard, beady, unblinkinl commitment that’s second to no one. Of course, anyone who records songs in one or two takes sans rehearsals scores bonus points from yours truly for sheer “screw it, do it” flying-by-the-seat­of-your-pants audacity. And, last but definitely not least, there’s a genuinely haunting urgency and poignancy to Sell’s singularly rough’n’rickety music that never fails to both wrench my heart and make all the hair on my hands stand on end. Now, anyone who produces music that does both remarkable feats simultaneously will continue to rate highly as a real artist of exceptional skill and dependability in my book. - Joe W.
The Atlantic Manor ou la surprise de découvrir un groupe de rock américain inconnu au bataillon qui métrait bien de ne pas le rester trop longtemps.

The Atlantic Manor c’est le projet, de R. Sell. homme seul aux commandes d’un groupe fantôme qui joue un rock de fantômes, intense, sans fioriture, avec un son sec, aux tempos lents, un rock taillé dans la pierre, aux accents folk, plein, de mélancolie, de désespoir. Un rock qui marche sur les traces de Neil Young de Vic Chessnutt ou du Sparklehorse .

Avec un voix qui rappelle par moment celle de Bob Mould , mais avec une musique plus proche de celle d'un Neil Young, on se dit que R. Sell est loin d'être un débutant et que son rock crasseux et généreux a déjà du bien se faire entendre aux quatre coins de l’amérique.

Avec ce nouvel album et le récent ep The Trouble That You Left, The Atlantic Manor publie sur son propre label (Do Too Records) sa musique et le revendique haut et fort.

Si la musique The Atlantic Manor se fait électrique, par moment sombre et entêtante, n’hésitant pas à jouer du larsen ou de l‘overdrive, c’est qu’elle est toujours sur le fil du rasoir, prête à imploser, prête à en découdre avec un public qui la qualifierait trop vite de "classique" ou de "lo-fi". Non, The Atlantic Manor c'est bien plus que ça.



I must say it sure was great to get such a lovely care package from my buddies in The Atlantic Manor. I was stoked to find not only a lovely t-shirt but copies of both of their new albums. “Sneaking Up on the Death Scene” is a beautifully crafted album that wanders through the underground scene in indie rock dominating everyone lucky enough to take a listen. Sure their vocalist for some can be either hit or miss, but with me it’s hit out of the ballpark. Blend his rootsy crooning with artistically refined melancholy and you’ve got yourself a mighty album that is just begging to be on everyone’s play list.

J. Sin
THE ATLANTIC MANOR - Sneaking Up on the Death Scene

Boldly iconoclastic experimental oddball rocker R. Sell strikes again with yet another marvelously moody and no-frills indie rock outing. Everything which makes Sell’s music so strikingly peculiar and arresting is present and accounted for: Sell’s fabulously phlegmatic dour mumble, laconically incisive lyrics that speak volumes about heartbreak and regret without wasting a single word, splendidly spare cut-to-the-bare-bones arrangements, slow trudging tempos that clip-clop along at a nicely gradual rate, and an idiosyncratic sensibility that’s as startling in its off-beat originality as it is admirable in its steady and unwavering quirkiness.
The Atlantic Manor – Failing By The Second (Do Too)
The Atlantic Manor – Sneaking Up On The Death Scene (Do Too)
The Atlantic Manor – Special Is Dead (Do Too)
The Trouble That You Left (Do Too)
Certainly a prolific output from our man Rick Sell, who performs under the guise of The Atlantic Manor, and seemingly from Miami. He sent us 4 of his LPs, each of which showcase his brand of delicate minimalist pop music. ‘Failing By The Second’ has tunes like ‘No One Cares About Your Reasons Why’ which work toward light and wispy Mercury Rev/Flaming Lips territory, while the typically downbeat ‘Everything Can Die Today’ has atonal shards piercing the post-prog lo-fi flesh. On ‘Sneaking…’, the title track particularly has the awkward, terrified frailty of David Thomas in 2 Pale Boys guise, but there is a calm, breezy nasality throughout. This pretty much goes also for ‘Trouble…’ and ‘Special…’, of which the best tracks are c&w nursery rhyme ‘Positive Bleeding’ and the rustic but Spartan ‘Two Story House’ on the formerand the feedback heavy country hymn ‘Depression Drama’ on the latter. Skif
Hauntingly beautiful disc reminiscent of the Songs:Ohia/Jason Molina/Magnolia/Pyramid/whatever canon.

Rated: 4.00 stars
The Atlantic Manor - “Sneaking Up on the Death Scene” & “The Trouble That You Left”
By Marcus Pan

Sneaking Up on the Death SceneThe Atlantic Manor were a refreshing surprise, with the light and low key sound and deep set progressive rock strains. Made up of R. Sell, Sneaking Up On the Death Scene and The Trouble That You Left are the sixth and seventh releases from him since 2000. Pushing a DIY spirit as heftily as possible, The Atlantic Manor keep things low key, off the radar and keeps to his own devices.

On Sneaking Up on the Death Scene, tracks like Heretic Racer can get very experimental as it clashes into surreal territory. On the other hand, Lamb White Days remains stoicly rock centric with fusings of deep melancholy and more than subtle overtones of sadness. Accoustic guitar strums serve mostly as a backdrop to poetic lyrics with chord hits that do naught more than keep the song moving along. It exudes a dismal feeling of loss and has an eerie quality.

Namesack track, Sneaking Up on the Death Scene, sounds strangely nice but slices with a surreal danger. A slow ballad with a piano and guitar, Sell's vocals have a distinct Bob Dylan on anti-depressant quality. His crooning over and over of "everything is beautiful" is as much an attempt at convincing himself as it is at convincing us. Very nicely done.

The Trouble That You Left is the follow up to Sneaking Up on the Death Scene. It opens stronger than Sneaking in that it begins styled as a rock album, if somewhat breezy and shoe gazing. The opening Positive Bleeding certainly makes a stronger effort to be accessible to most and does a good job at being a folk-sounding laid back accoustic guitar tune without any of the experimantialism the previous album had. A stronger appeal is the effect.

The Trouble That You LeftImatation Saturday and The Trouble That You Left remain similar in strenth and appeal, being garage accoustic rock songs, Imatation Saturday with a bit of electric punch in it. Two Story House gets a bit brooding and plodding, a slower moving track with strange birdsong intermixed with the heavy handed and slow moving rhythm. The surrealism that Sell can't put down for long winds its way into Two Story House with interesting effect.

No Reward is a surprise, having been listening to Atlantic Manor's shoe-gazer style folk for two albums long now. No Reward picks up the jamming, adding in a nice lace of punk over the garage accoustics. A simple song but a satisfying one. We go back to another accoustic song with Your White is Gray, but it retains its more upbeat style precedented by No Reward.

The Atlantic Manor keep to themselves and retain an underground flair. Storytelling like Bob Dylan, garage like The White Stripes, lyrics like the Counting Crows. All this mixed in with a bit of sadness, melancholy and a healthy dose of musical ability herald The Atlantic Manor as an outfit that can certainly infuse the airwaves with their music. But R. Sell may just be more than happy staying where he is and playing for himself rather than the radio.

“Sneaking Up On The Death Scene”

When somebody asks me if I can name a “real song writer,” or a modern rock composer with some merit and originality, I have to steer directly towards The Atlantic Manor. They always deliver with beauty and simplicity, maturity and talent, originality and charisma, and something that just compels your interest for what you are hearing (and what you are going to hear next.) If I had a label, The Atlantic Manor would get my very first contract. Most of the songs on this are primarily piano and vocals, kind of slow and moody, a little experimental and extremely evocative. The Atlantic Manor personify the true underground composer’s spirit.


SMOTHER.NET "Special is Dead"

Most of you Smother.Net readers already know who The Atlantic Manor is. And if you don't you should. This DIY indie rock is mostly the work of R. Sell with occasional input from friends. Still in the vein of The Velvet Underground and Neil Young, The Atlantic Manor grows and matures in a wholly new direction of somber songwriting that leaves a distinct impression on the most casual of listener. "Special Is Dead" is a bit of a misnomer seeing as how this album is indeed quite special and possibly one of the top ten DIY albums of '04.

- J-Sin

The Atlantic Manor - 'Special Is Dead' (Do Too Records)

Atlantic Manor is awesome, and it's shocking people aren't talking about them already. If you like Clem Snide, Hayden, Neil Young, or any of that dark folk, you will like this. I enjoyed their previous effort, "Failing By The Second", but this one is a lot better. The vocals are really cool. They are quite dark and moody, and make you imagine fall. "Depression Drama" opens the record, and is a mellow number filled with melodic guitars and some brush drumming. Guitarist and singer R. Sell, writes great lyrics, like in the echoey "Into The Black": "I never question your reasons, your faith is a wonderful thing", he says, in this moody love song. Sell seems to be able to somehow conjure hope up in sadness. The closer, "Fire In The Sky", is a super down tune that will likely make you almost cry with it's hopelessness. "There's nothing to live for tonight", he says. Actually, there's one reason to live. The fact that you make amazing music. I loved this record, and you will too or you just suck. (Eddie Fleisher)

THE ATLANTIC MANOR - Special Is Dead (Do Too Records) R. Sell's dour mumbled vocals have a certain undeniably straightforward potency to them; his bleary ravaged moan vividly projects a strong sense of deep-seated anguish and defeated ennui thats as haunting as it is touching. The eloquently spare songwriting likewise cuts right to the chase with alarming directness, making its incisive points about human suffering and disappointment with a laudable laconic austerity which successfully keeps mushy sentiment at bay and never overstates a thing. Toss in the tight, muted, gloriously no-frills and unadorned arrangements, the quietly effective rhythmic ebb and flow created by the gradually creepy crawling tempos and heavy thudding beats, and a stunningly suffocating atmosphere of all-encompassing melancholic despair. Add everything together and the net result is a beautifully somber and moving lo-fl minimalist pop masterpiece of remarkable merit and poignancy. - Joe Wawyrzniak
Joe Wawyrzniak - JERSEY BEAT

By Kevan Breitinger

Very less is more. "Lo-fi and heartfelt." Writer/leader Rick Sell offers up nine songs of brooding intensity, some powerfully moving, others more harrowing. But even the less successful efforts, which at times wane into pretty severe dirge state, still never bore.

Sell's voice immediately brings Neil Young's reedy whine to mind, but this music is not as much overtly rock as it is exploratory art rock. And by that I simply mean that Sell is as interested in the journey as he is in the destination. Fiercely independent, an intelligence shines through these songs, and you get the feeling that even when he is droning, even when you sense he has gone too far, he is completely comfortable with leaving you behind. It is not music for the masses but for the unafraid, the willing.

My favorite cut is "Classical World," a quiet beauty that draws you into an aching loneliness, Bob Platt's shimmering keyboards reaching deep into your gut and twisting . . . hard. "Death in Spring," with its imagery of blood and bone and its offbeat passions, grabs you deep inside as well, Jorge Bejel's high hats lashing you angrily. You feel punished, rebuked, but you probably deserved it. Next cut, "Hideaway," comforts you with its sweet and brooding beauty.

Some of the excursions into chaos didn't work for me. "Flying Horse Carousel" is unflinchingly deliberate in its starkness and painfully full of feedback. Sell invites us to observe his self-flagellation; again, not for everyone. But this music is gutsy, with power to maim, and ultimately, you have to admire his brave exposure.

Floridian Rick Sell's songs do remind one a bit of ol shakey himself (Neil Young) and like Young has done at different points in his career Sell chooses to write about death and isolation quite a bit. While on past records Sell has gone at it alone here he has a drummer and pianist helping him out. The piano on "Classical World" is nearly perfect but the constant jewel through the whole record is Sell's pained voice, always offering hope in hopeless situations. If "DAYS IN THE WAKE" or TONIGHT''S THE NIGHT" ever made any impression on you at all then you'll be ok with this.

DAGGER'S TOP 15 "UNDER THE RADAR" RECORDS for 2004 to include The Atlantic Manor's "SPECIAL IS DEAD".

Atlantic Manor - “Special is Dead” CD 11/37:41
Recorded “gorilla” [sic] style with no rehearsal, this quartet plods their way Portsmith Symphonia-style in a flat landscape, led by R. Sell, whose vocals are as bleak as the music. To call the song topics “angst-ridden” is like calling chronic depression “having a bad day.” Songs titles include “Depression Drama”, “Death in Spring”, “Into the Black”, and “Black Eye”. Though there is a rare rave-up, mostly it’s like walking knee deep in the big muddy. Yet, it is hard not to pay attention to this, being as strong as the sound remains. One aspect I find worthy of note is that at least two songs sound like Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” Plus, there are two more songs on the CD than listed on the package. RBF
top 10 list for October 2004


1. american music club- love songs for patriots (merge)
2. plush- underfed (drag city)
3. dolorean- violence in the snowy fields (yep roc)
4. nancy sinatra- s/t (sanctuary)
5. the mice - for almost ever scooter (scat)
6. arcade fire- funeral (merge)
7. saturday looks good to me - every night (polyvinyl)
8. neko case- the tigers have spoken (anti)
9. boyracer- happenstance (hhbtm)
10.the atlantic manor- special is dead (do too )
The Atlantic Manor
“Special Is Dead”

I remember liking this band’s last recording, but also scratching my head a bit when writing the review. Well, my finger is ready and my head is ripe for abuse, but my ears are at ease. For the most part The Atlantic Manor play nice sad little ballads about love and personal experiences. The oddball thing that you barely notice going on here is that along with acoustic guitar, drums, and piano they sneak in some of the most conventional and natural use of noise that I have ever heard. I mean to tell you that this is probably the first band ever to comfortably include noise as an “instrument” to make viable and acceptable music. It just blends right in. It might take forever until you realize that you don’t recognize some of the sounds that are playing a functional role in this music. I’d pick this up if I were interested in a similar experiment.
The Atlantic Manor: Special Is Dead
[Do Too]

There are people out there who think for all of Tom Waits’ songwriting talents, the man has no business singing in a karaoke bar, no less his own songs. These people may want to steer clear of The Atlantic Manor. R. Sell’s latest effort, while certainly an intoxicating affair, features a voice that can at once sound so right while sounding so wrong. Musically, the nine songs here should spark less debate, as each is a wonderfully understated lo-fi offering.

Though one could argue the songs are underwritten – and lines forced – Sell is deft at painting a bleak picture, and more often than not there’s potency in his sparse language (“Flying Horse Carousel” seems to be about a recurring theme in his relationships). There’s a mood/groove to this record and a quiet confidence that might have some thinking of Elliott Smith’s Either/Or, or even David Gray’s White Ladder, even if it is less accessible. “Classical World,” “Hideaway” and “Into the Black” mark a fine trio on an album that is striking from start to finish.


Wow. For some reason you just don’t come upon nice surprises like this very often; totally unknown artists that blow you away. Picking up and running with the baton that Damien Rice just wasn’t capable of finishing the crucial final lap with is what The Atlantic Manor is all about. Lo-fi, minimal, Blues-based Folk Rock with nary more than acoustic guitar, violins, background single guitar notes hanging in space and drums that play one beat a measure, screams Appalachia, modern ennui and bleeding hearts like nothing I’ve heard in a long while. Echoes of Nick Cave are here in full force minus the disturbing revival references — noting especially the Lyre of Orpheus — with a nice little touch of Neil Young. Somehow, when The Atlantic Manor sings “Into the black / Deep together / No turning back / Or on each other / Because I love you / Like you love me” (“Into the Black”) — lines that would normally make me gag like I’m eating cold oatmeal — actually might just have the power to make you believe in love again, at least for the afternoon. Sometimes the pacing is a little awkward, the vocals are a little out-of-tune and the execution lacks confidence, as in “Flying House Carousel,” but that ironically unself-conscious insecurity is probably half of The Atlantic Manor’s charm.

The Atlantic Manor: Special is dead

You won't get anything out of Special Is Dead that you don't put in first. Active listening is a requirement, though the straightforward song structures don't immediately seem to demand as much.
R. Sell, the main man behind The Atlantic Manor, has created an exhausting aural landscape for us to traverse. That's why he goes for discord and drones so readily: he means to sap us. Of course, the natural response is a knee-jerk "Get the fuck away!", particularly if you were already running on empty to begin with. You don't want him to do that to you, especially because so many contemporary artists seem to go that route for no clear reason. We used to be hungry for artists who were willing to drag us into the muck because nobody would do it. Now it's quite the opposite -- we want bands that are willing to lift us up. Enough shades of gray are enough! However, The Atlantic Manor do what they do for a reason. They are justified.

We can see this in the two minute rocker (and comparative powerhouse) "Never Tell". Here, Sell proves that it isn't out of laziness that he keeps his tempos so relaxed, and it isn't a lack of vision that puts the album where it is. This is a deliberate choice. Stop and take in the lyrics: "I never question your reasons / Your faith is a wonderful thing. / Even though / I may be doubtful / When we're down / On our knees." There are two ways to read these words, and they're both probably correct -- the narrator is doubtful in prayer, and perhaps even more doubtful when things are going wrong for the couple. The ability to say two complimentary things in one verse proves that Sell deserves our attention.

We get another indicator of the narrative's intended shape in album highlight "Fire in the Sky". A seven and a half minute epic of sorts, it perfectly explains and justifies the feelings of hollowness Sell has been intentionally evoking throughout Special Is Dead. As he unleashes his most unrepentantly gorgeous melodies, Sell sings: "I sit in my car / And I stare up at the sky / The speakers snap and pop / I get the nerve to go inside. / And I don't have the moves / But I am still going to try ... Flashes of static / To soothe and delight / There's nothing worth living for tonight. ... Will she dance with me / Will she hold me tight? / If only she knew / I felt like a joke inside."

Special Is Dead is a series of character sketches describing that type of person, if not that particular individual. Sell's characters are broken and hopeless. They are convinced that there's no reason to try -- but for lack of something better to do, they try anyway. This explains the final element, which legitimizes an album that would otherwise be easy to dismiss: Sell's voice. He is, from a technical perspective, ghastly. His thick southern drawl overwhelms any real melody, and his declarative, nasal vocal style (again recalling John Darnielle in spirit) seals the deal. But it doesn't matter. The desperation with which he delivers every word, the total sincerity, is what made his work intriguing in the first place. After listening closely, you'll understand why his mode is so appropriate, even necessary.

From there, you can go back to the beginning and start over. Rebuild the music in a new light. Songs that might have bored you before will now have you on the edge of your seat. Sure, it's still depressing. Yes, it's still dissonant country-inflected folk-rock. But where it once seemed like a real downer, it now seems like a thoughtfully conceived, expertly executed downer. Sell saps our energy for the same reasons, and by similar devices, as Kafka and Beckett: Kafka had his interminable paragraphs, Beckett had his endless, empty nonsense. Sell -- who isn't at their level by any means, mind you, but is definitely working in related territory -- has his drones. If you're into pitch-black comedy and gothic horror, you can place R. Sell in the tradition of their intersection.

-- Mike Meginnis
The Atlantic Manor: Special Is Dead

Lo-Fi Neil Young-style Americana. Great songs for staring out windows on rainy days.
Rocky: Intriguing, brooding country folk, like 16 Horsepower. Simple and respectably amateurish.


FACE MAGAZINE "Failing By The Second"

Rick Sell, working under the title of Atlantic Manor, hits a new peak of self- effacing, brooding power, with his latest album, Failing by the Second. Using a simple arrangement of guitar, drums and subtle effects, Sell creates a haunting, ominous sound that entraps you, and forces you to bear witness to each one of his past transgressions.

He sounds very similar to two other tortured souls who delved on poignant, tragic observations of life-Elliot Smith, and Nick Drake. Replace Drake's delicate, English voice with a coarse, Southern croon, and Smith's wistful harmonies, with downtrodden guitar crescendos and you have Rick Sell. His guilt-ridden, indignant lyrics and painful, almost, shy vocals, evoke the memories of those great songwriters.

"Failing by the Second," the opening track on the album, sounds as if Sell's voice is coming from the bottom of a well, and the repetitive drum and guitar beat that plays above him make it seem as if he's trying to make you forget his presence. "Everything Can Die Today," is in the same milieu. A loathing song of remorse and regret, the track is fragmented and broken, fading in and out, with a child's voice a stark reminder of the song. The nursery rhyme being hummed by the kid in the tune sounds like it's being uttered by a ghost, and not some conscious-free adolescent.

"No one Cares about the Reasons Why," may be the most harrowing, and perhaps strongest cut on the album. Staring into an empty glass, Sell painfully mutters, "I wore you down/ And I made you pay/ I stuck around/ And you learned to hate." This type of candor and honesty are seldom heard in music today; a person who can confront himself with this type of vigor deserves to be commended for being so open.

The antipathy can turn a little to self-pity, which can be a little nagging. On, "Inside of your Heart," Sell places the blame on nameless others, something he doesn't normally do throughout the record. Sell's lyrics are the strongest when he is the one ponying up for the problems in his life, which makes the words all the more unique and powerful. Also, "Strung out Camp Talk," Sell's stab at more uptempo music (if that's possible on this album) falls a little flat and seems disjointed.

Those details are minor. Failing by the Second is a tour-de-force through every inner molecule of Sell's body. He holds nothing back, and his dreamy, nightmarish retrospection has been practiced by few before him. Hopefully, Sell can see the light at the end of the tunnel, something Elliot Smith and Nick Drake were unfortunately blind to.
BANDOPPLER MAGAZINE: "Failing By The Second"

"Make sure this CD finds a happy home," the back cover says. "If you don't like it, please give it away." Humble pragmatism and suggested charity aside, don't do that too quick. Attempting to describe this, or even an uncareful listen, may be deluding. This album has slow and subversive appeal, but it is genuinely appealing, sneaking up on you in the pressed din and anxious freedom of near-melodic quiet oblivion. It builds grandly, smacking you suddenly with existential crank rants like the two official closers, the sublime "Broken Bones Heal" and "Jacks Death Scene." But before that, R. Sell who-is-pretty-much-the-band delivers "Suicide Jockey," the best (and shortest) Joy D.-inspired basement lamentation since prime My Dad Is Dead (Baby's Got A Problem era). Sell has been doing this since the early 90s, and Failing By The Second is reminiscent of truly good indie cassettes inspired by the Op(tion) tape network of the mid-80s, when there were real rock and roll gems to be found -- very personal expressions, almost unheard by the banal minions of commerce. I imagine most reading this would be more turned on by the dirges ("Inside Of Your Heart" has a wonderful Fairport Convention drag to it), as they're more contemporaneous, but the balance and diversity with the bedroom abstraction is exceptional all ways around.
LEFT OFF THE DIAL "Failing By The Second"

Where to start with this one? I guess I'll start by saying this is not music for the masses. Failing by the Second" is not one of those albums that would catch everyone on the first listen; it just isn't that accessible. While this is not the perfect album for everyone, it is a dead-on ringer for a few. Rick Sells bleeds from his gut and creates smart, depressing music with his heart and head. The music itself is heartbreakingly gorgeous, but the vocals took a bit to warm up to; but it started making sense the more I listened to the full album. With his thin, shaky voice, he manages to reach inside you and bring that old feeling of loss and pain to the back of your throat. Even though you haven't experienced exactly what he sings about, you can completely understand and commiserate with him as he throws himself out there.

Sells describes this as his divorce album. So yes, it is quite emotional. As he came up with chord progressions and song ideas, he would map them out to this friend, Jorge, who would improv drum parts underneath. These sessions were recorded in Jorge's spare bedroom as they were born, sustaining a fresh, creative, spur-of-the-moment current.

The music is very minimal. It's sparse, droney, art-rock, created as an expressive outlet for Sells. He lays out sprawls of sonic washes, banged walls, punched and plucked guitars, lost strings and confused keys - all held down by a steady drumbeat. By recruiting a chilling, John Cale-style minimalism/experimentation and by slowing down to the dreary pace of the Black Heart Procession, very dirge-esque qualities are handed down to the album. Dark, simple melodies overtop repeated, lengthy phrases roll the album along very nicely without allowing each track to grow too monotonous.

To sum this up, it honestly took a second to get used to the album, but once I did, I found myself really appreciating it. It's a great example of an artist using his medium wisely, and hopefully effectively, to exorcise his demons and ease his nerves.

-Chaz Martenstein
1340MAG.COM: "Failing By The Second"

Wow, super-heavy stuff here. The Atlantic Manor plays moody, experimental pop music. There's not a song on here that's not haunting, in the best possible way. The unexpected shards of feedback and low drones play perfectly off the restless drumbeats to create a feeling of claustrophobia that serves the record extremely well.
Lyrically, the album plays out like thought processes. The phrases running into each other and circle around, much the same way that we tend to worry over small details in our own minds; not necessarily promoting thought, but slightly comforting in its' ability to keep us from thinking too much about precisely how we have failed. Unflinchingly brutal, harrowing, and completely unnerving, this is ultimately a beautiful album.

Key Song: "Failing By the Second"

Reviewed by: Rick Arnow
PLUG IN MUSIC "Failing By The Second"

From the moment you learn Atlantic Manor's "Failing by the Second" is an album which reflects Rick Sell's divorce, it is obvious the album will be sad and emotional (at least you hope so). The Atlantic Manor is Sell's project, a one man band reflecting a true indie spirit. The album was recorded lo-fi with songs simple and straight from the heart. Do not expect over produced epics, "Failing by the Second" is moping in tone and, with a couple exceptions, melodic in sound.

Focusing more on instrumentation, Sell's vocals only make an appearance on "Failing by the Second," consisting of a spacey tune over both distorted effects and simple clip-clapping. More melodic and almost up beat, Sell's tries to put things behind him ("But we can't talk and we'll never change/I know you feel the same") on "Every Thing Can Die Today," the song is highlighted with warmer female vocals on the end. With a slightly new age sort of feel, "No One Cares About Your Reasons Why" is endearing while "Inside Your Heart," starting slow, stands out with its reserved power.

Changing the sound, "Strung Out Camp Talk" is up tempo and rocking with a punk ethos and a wall of fuzzy distortion that is over nearly before it begins, in less than two minutes. Going from one extreme to another, "Suicide Jockey" builds slightly in volume from nearly inaudible with squealing distortion as Sell sings "He's kissing you/And he holds you tight/He says the things/I could never get right." Shaking you awake with a louder, up tempo song (with so many volume changes, "Failing by the Second" is not very earphone friendly), "Jacks Death Scene" has a surprisingly pleasant sound to it. "Sally was a troubled girl/She had a troubled mind/Jack could only toss and turn/In their coffin late at night," Sell sings in his interesting lyrics. Different for the album, "Broken Bones Heal" stands out as a simpler song that picks up in pace and adds more instruments; the song is short and well executed. The album's final song, a hidden track, is made up on a child and a man speaking over plinking piano.

"Failing by the Second" is emotionally touching, with enough moping songs to possibly bring you down. But it does not; there is the feeling of the light at the end of the tunnel somewhere. Musically dynamic to say the least, the songs range in speed, sound, idea and volume while remaining focused. Atlantic Manor proves indie rock, at the core, is not always flashy guitar licks and screaming vocals.
SPLENDIDEZINE: "Failing By The Second"

The Atlantic Manor is the brainchild of one Rick Sell, who has released three other albums under this moniker. Sell plays all of the instruments but the drums, which are adeptly handled by a couple of close friends. Sell's music, at least as far as Failing by the Second is concerned, focuses on stark, minimal guitar work with occasional keyboard embellishment. Through it all, Sell's unique vocals weave brooding tales of resignation. Opener "Failing by the Second" is an epic of sorts, with a dark, minor-chord guitar procession laying the foundation for squalls of electric guitar noise. By mid-song, though, this underlying theme has almost vanished, as layers of overdubbed percussion and a haunting picked electric guitar line follow a decidedly different rhythm over this persistent background. While it is by far the most experimental piece on the album, it is also quite pretty. Later in the disc, "No One Cares About Your Reasons Why" uses a variation on this main guitar chord progression to craft a slower, more methodical melody. This time around, the theme is played on acoustic guitar, with a mournful lead line. Sell repeatedly intones "good night my little ones / dream, dream, dream" as synths provide a droning layer of texture at the song's end.

While most of the disc's nine tracks (ignoring the hidden one at the album's end) favor a unique mix of psychedelia and folk music with minor country inflections, two heavier songs flaunt their rock orientation. "Jack's Death Scene" is a short and stunning number with a great lead guitar figure and a more uptempo rhythm. Make no mistake, though -- it's just as dark (if not more so) than the other material. "Strung Out Camp Talk", meanwhile, is the album's glaring weak point; its mood doesn't quite fit the somber tone that Sell has so carefully laid out up to this point.

The sticking point for most listeners will be Sell's vocals: his thick Southern drawl, and very nasal tone make his singing an acquired taste. That said, his performance is also extremely expressive and unique, with a slow-burning gravitas that greatly enhances the music.

Failing by the Second was recorded in Sell's home with no rehearsal, and accordingly, it has a raw, spontaneous feel. The production itself is excellent -- stripped down and intimate, but by no means muddy. Kudos, too, for the cover image, which is a great companion piece to the music. Next time around, though, perhaps more care should be taken with proofreading -- the numerical song listing on the back of the CD is totally out of sorts, and even the name of the record label appears to be misspelled. On an otherwise exemplary DIY release, such an oversight seems bewilderingly sloppy.

-- Garrett Splain

Failing by the Second

There is wretchedness in human emotion that can envelop you and completely take over your mental and physical state. Most emotions are a reactionary effect of a positive or negative influence, extracting a commonly similar or opposite reaction. The Atlantic Manor's new release, titled Failing by the Second, is a perfect human behaviour record. The history is simple; failed relationship leading to divorce. The Atlantic Manor is the outpour of Rick Sell, the mastermind behind the entire project. And by its lo-fi identity, Failing by the Second exemplifies a truly passionate and fiery adoration for unadorned creation.

This is a truly temperamental record. Song titles like "Every Thing Can Die Today," "Suicide Jockey," and "Broken Bones Heal" identify a struggling listen up ahead. Firstly, if you are completely happy with your life and you are having a wonderful day, stay away from this record. But if you are troubled by the mishaps of relationships, then this record is a recommended listen. The emotions of redemption are clearly evident and lead to unsolved questions on the entire record: "Is it my fault or is it yours?" "Did she have a cheating heart?" "Were we happy together?" Lyrics like "And we haven't laughed in weeks/ I suggest that I may be to blame" and "We used to dance so close/ All the girls would watch/ And it was beautiful/ So I Thought" epitomizes the inner struggles of a human being trying to cope with the difficulty of relations in this world. And the record completely analyzes these struggles to a climactic magnitude.

Nearly everyone has suffered a broken heart (if not, do yourself a favor and get your heart broken). Failing by the Second is the perfect record after such incidences. Unfortunately, it isn't a pleasurable listen for everyday life. Trust me, if you are happy with your life relations, please stay away from this record. It's too sad. - Wolfman
BURNING EMPTYNESS 'Failing By The Second"

You had these two records coming from the post on the same day and you had a dream on the same night. It's a dream. It's not unpleasant; in fact it's a rather nice dream, only very weird. You stand in the middle of a room that's divided in two. There's a brightly lit and coloured side and a rather dim black and white side and you're exactly in the middle so one side of your body's in colour and the other in black and white and you feel like you're acting in Pleasantville. You have this feeling you often have you don't have any true friends. From both sides comes music. Lofi guitar-based-pop-folk or whatever you want to call it. Your black and white ear is telling you this is The Atlantic Manor's divorce record and it's sad and melancholic and beautiful nevertheless, even amidst the punk rage of Suicide Jockey -and R.Sell seems to keep his records delightfully short (this one's just over the 30 minutes limit not including the unnecessary hidden track) and to keep on dedicating his records to his children.
OTO (One Times One Zine) "Failing By The Second"

The new album "Falling by the Second" by The Atlantic Manor was recorded on the spot, with no rehearsals, at a home studio for around five hundred dollars. The result is an album that sounds to me like Lou Reed's "Berlin," Pedro the Lion's "It's Hard to Find a Friend," and Tom Waits's "Rain Dogs" were ran through a blender and reconstructed by a morphine-infused manic-depressive poet, and with good reason, front-man and driving force Rick Sell made this as his "divorce album," with the help of his friends Jorge Bejel, Rick Sanchez, and Laura Moreno. Throughout the album you can hear the different feelings from the break-up, from blaming himself, "and he's kissin' you, and he holds you tight, he says the things to you, i could never get right...he says the words you want to hear at night," to blaming the new lover, "we used to be so close, all the girls would watch, it used to be so beautiful, so i thought, what has he done to you," to implying that somewhere in the back, he's been alone the whole time, "i think of better days, i get a strange sensation, feels like i've always been here before." This is a good album--the only drawback (if it really is one) is that this is a mood album, meaning, you need to be in a certain mood to really appreciate it. But believe me, there will be times when you need this album. If you feel you will ever be down, lonely, or just not feel right and need this album, you can get it from Do Too Records at The cover art, "Apple Blossom" by Kelli Dubay can be viewed at and you can contact the Atlantic Manor at

-Jason Hall 10/03/03

The Atlantic Manor - Failing By the Second Ahh indie rock DIY-style. It can achieve greatness, can be inspiring, or it can be meaningless trite that exhausts the possibilities of bad music. Fortunately for everyone listening to The Atlantic Manor they fall into the first category. Their music is similar to some stuff that The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine has accomplished to date. Their ability to take lo-fi bedroom-studio music and churn out masterful art rock pieces is astounding and worthy of several repeated listens. Not only does this album grow on you but it infects you to the very core. This captures as much attention as a sign saying "Free heroin" in a drug rehab center. J-Sin
UTTER TRASH MAGAZINE "Failing By The Second"

Failing By The Second" is an album that has many moods. These moods are straight from the heart of R. Sell, who is primarily the Atlantic Manor. He did get some help from his friends, and the press release says these songs were recorded with no rehearsals. Musically, this album is quite moving, with swaying acoustic guitars, lo-fi drums, and keyboards. The lyrics are also good, but some may find Sell's voice to be annoying at times, but definitely not ALL the time. The songs could be compared to artists like Clem Snide, The Velvet Underground, or Lou Barlow. The record spans 9 songs, and is pretty enjoyable all the way through. The highlights include the lyrically beautiful "Broken Bones Heal", and the break-up inspired track "Everything Can Die Today". The latter seems to be a running theme on this record, and the album is noted in the press release as R. Sell's "divorce album." If lo-fi records are your thing, then "Failing By The Second" will make a great addition to your collection. It's a country meets indie rock album with punk rock roots that will have you wrapped in your own sadness, but feeling good, knowing that someone else shares your pain. (Eddie Fleisher)

The Atlantic Manor, Failing By The Second

A marriage is what's failing on The Atlantic Manor's Failing By The Second, which has been characterized as his "divorce album" by R. Sell, the Miami-based musician behind this one-man band. A DIY rock effort with tinges of country (think Neil Young in places, or a slowcore Marah before they went all Brit-Pop), Failing By the Second is a gutwrenching trip through every feeling you'd experience during such a break-up: hurt, shame, anger, sadness, nostalgia, regret, you name it. Those emotions are projected in the bluesy guitars and the funereal tempos as often as they are the incisive lyrics. But on songs like "Every Thing Can Die Today" the music offers more positive vibes that serve as a sign of...well, maybe not hope, but at least resignation and a readiness to move on. In contrast, a song like "Strung Out Camp Talk" has a punk-rock restlessness and messiness that exudes the feeling that everything's too messed up to fix ("Staying awake for days/waiting my turn to die"). Failing By the Second's a dark march straight into a man's heart; it feels like therapy as much as rock and roll...but that's OK the songs rock forcefully and feel like real life.
ROCTOBER MAGAZINE: "Failing By The Second"

Proudly sad music about profound sadness. This is as honest an expression of despair as you will find burned into a silver round piece of plastic.
NEO-ZINE: "Failing By The Second"

The Atlantic Manor "Failing By The Second" (To Do Records/ 8321 SW 30 ST./ Miami, FL 33153/ Nice simple, slow, dark, easy flowing songs get hairy and start to break apart in stress related breakdowns. I thought I was in for another "sad song" recording for my "boo-hoo moments," but that's only part of what this has to offer. I think the depression loosened a few hinges in the Atlantic Manor. Its like a few guys got together and just started with a light strum and built songs naturally but spontaneously in a "jam session" sort of style, then when the juices got flowing the songs got out of control and took a life of their own (some pleasant, some erratic and devious.) Off beat emotionalism.

The Atlantic Manor; Failing By The Second

Having recently been separated from my lovely wife, because of reason I just ain't gonna share with you all, it's easy to imagine I'd be into this record by an individual named Rick Sell who's written this record about his divorce. And you know what? I'm into it. It may be a little on the strange side at times - a left-winger so to speak - but the emotions put into this record aren't going to go by unnoticed. This is just too heartfelt and honest not to go straight to the heart, even though it's weird as Hell in places. So if you, by any chance, recently got divorced and want someone to shed some light on things or you just want to be around someone that's just as confused as you, you should pick up "Failing By The Second": Your new best friend. (JJJJ--)



Atlantic Manor - "The Desperate Vibe Of Emotional Devestation" CD 11/36:47

A self-recorded third album from AM that has the feel of early GBV experimentalism. With song titles like "Deathwish Safety Check" and "Tin Cup Chimp" you could almost guess as much. Several tracks are less than 2 minutes, several are more than 5 minutes. "Emotional Cripple" at 7:16 takes its time, as does AM in general, and becomes a haunting favorite. This is a solid effort, a close relative of Pere Ubu perhaps, file under experimental blues.
HELD LIKE SOUND #7 "The Hate We Get Going"

The Atlantic Manor explores the world of minimalism and noise within lo-fi indie rock. A pleasant mix of melodic guitar lines, distorted field recordings, droning melodies and drums that wouldn't sound out of place on a Velvet Underground record.
SPLENDID "The Desperate Vibe Of Emotional Devastation"

The first time you listen to THE DESPERATE VIBE OF EMOTIONAL DEVASTATION you might be left wondering if you're holding a compilation. Take the opening three tracks: background 'Oooohs' and handclaps buoy a classic rock guitar lick on 'Moonlight Drive' (not the Door's song thankfully); 'New York White Face' throws down a churning wall of sound; 'Life aien't so simple baby,' warns 'Deathwish Saftey Check' over a chiming melody. The rest of this nine song album, the third from Florida bedroom-recorder R. Sell, continues in a similarly eclectic vein. Sell strongly advocates the DIY approach to recording and releasing (he does his own in the spare bedroom of one Jorge Bejel, who also drums on the album), but the results achieved on even these first three songs are greater than many professional bands ever produce. After such a masterful beginning, the sequencing of the fourth and fifth tracks, 'Emotional Cripple' and 'Two Story House', appears to initially be a fatal flaw. The former is a stately seven minute march through the psyche of one unhappy individual (I hear voices, like grinding teeth / Ripping away at my broken heart), augmented with mournful keyboards and a steady drumbeat. 'Two Story House' follows with another stately seven minute march beside a tormented character. With a slightly slower beat and sparer instrumentation, 'Two Story House' could easily drag the album down a hole from which it couldn't recover. But Sell is playing a kind of modern blues, and the second time through, the songs don't seem so slow after all, but timeless and simple in a way that reveals them as variations on the mournful beat humans have been playing for centuries. (CD players also have fast forward buttons, for those times when timeless simplicity just doesn't cut it.)
'Tin Cup Chimp' provides an immediate boost of folk rock, followed by songs both beautiful ('Into The Black') and harrowing ('Family Damage'). 'For What It's Worth' (not the Buffalo Springfield song , unfortunately) offers the sad chorus "Turn my back on you / before you turn it on me", in Sell's clipped, slightly Southern accent. The echo chamber in the closing track, 'New Home' might be a little cheesy, but the underlying melody is just as lovely as anything else here.

With production values better than a spare bedroom but worse than a real studio - call it medium fi. THE DESPERATE VIBE OF EMOTIONAL DEVASTATION is well worth experiencing. Ryan Tranquilla.
VOID "The Desperate Vibe Of Emotional Devastation"

Rick Sell returns with drummer & partner in rocking out: Jorge Bejel on "The Desperate Vibe Of Emotional Devastation" part three of THE ATLANTIC MANOR series. Nine great lo-fi bedroom recordings to add to the indie-rock section of any skinny white American kid's book shelf. If you dig guitar and drums that sound fuzzy you'll love The Atlantic Manor. - Paul Bosse
Paul Bosse - VOID

That's a stacked album title indeed. Quality, spontaneous home recordings here. Sad modern folk songs that all sound pretty good. The performer could be an alcoholic madman, these songs being his only way to keep any grip he has left with reality. Or he could be a lonley janitor living in his parents basement recording songs because he has nothing better to do. It dosen't matter to me though, cuz most of the songs are great. - Gary Stumbaugh

The Atlantic Manor - The Desperate Vibe of Emotional Devestation (Do Too)

This is actually quite a bit more uplifting than the title may suggest. The Atlantic Manor is a lo-fi project that seems to be bordering on indie pop songs without even trying too much. 'Moonlight Drive' is like something off of college radio (or that should go on college radio). There are a few slower spots on here where the music seems to plod along a bit more than it should, but overall this is a pretty darned good album.
Reviewer: the listener "The Desperate Vibe Of Emotional Devastation"

Don't be put off by the self-conscious miserablism of the title (or its misspelling on the CD cover) or the too earnest liner notes about someone somewhere having waited a long time for something like this. I sometimes wish artists would just let the music speak for itself.. because this music speaks up just fine. Sure it's bleak and kind of sparse, but its few elements are beautifully judged and it needs no more to make its point. You can crank it up or let it sit in the background a little. Fans of Low and maybe the Handsome Family might find themselves on familiar emotional turf. Three and a half stars.


SCHUELL "The Hate We Get Going"

This is a one man solo project, that is all at once enigmatic, brooding, moody, swaying, disconcearning, palpable, credible, willing, relentless, pioneering and distinct. Having noted these things, one should understand it is a labor of love. It makes for a great introspect if nothing else. Feedback drenched and performance art influenced no doubt. Truly unique in that sense. Self described as 'Flying well below the indie-rock radar', and I would have to whole-heartedly agree.
SPANKZINE "The Hate We Get Going"

Slow and deliberate, The Atlantic Manor play the bedroom blues, loading it with oppressive guitar work, a troubled tale or two and haunting samples. Raw and personal expressions of sadness are matched only by the deft displays of anger. This one is not easy to shake off, and the effects are visceral. - Matt
DEVIL IN THE WOODS # 3.1 "The Hate We Get Going"

Reverberated slide guitar drones and dark lyricism affect sensations between full-on psychotic episodes and drunken contemplation and end up sounding like experimental blues heard while overdosing on mandrax
ROCTOBER #29 "The Hate We Get Going"

Outsider DIY recording triumphs that combine the best of bedroom home taping with unique, humid southern sensibilities, mixed in the darkest corners of a mind filled with more ideas that standard vocabulary allows it to express.
READY SET...AESTHETIC #004 "The Hate We Get Going"

While lo-fi is a term that gets thrown around kind of loosely, I think that it is safe to label THE ATLANTIC MANOR as such.. They seem to revel in simple, sometimes created on the spot compositions. The songs are led by guitar work that are by no means elaborate, adequate drumming, and vocals, well, let's just say the vocals take a little getting used to. To put it simply, it is all just a little bit left of center. I mean this in a good way, kind of like an Aunt that can't remember the names of farm animals. You know? They're just not quite right but in an incredibly endearing way. It's easy to imagine whoever is behind THE ATLANTIC MANOR (I am guessing it's just one guy) sitting in a small apartment, with nothing but a folding chair, a guitar and a four track, endlessly putting songs to tape, occasionally pausing to pet his cat, which is most likely named after a mythological character. I don't mean to trivialize what this band is all about, not at all. In fact it's the music that really gets your mind wondering, wondering what the hell is going on and what it's all about. Fans of Smog or maybe Lou Barlow's stranger moments will enjoy this. You should write to them, I think they'd like to hear from you (no really).