Small World LP
From Noisy Ghost PR:
“Hailing from the south-shore Long Island town of Massapequa, Gamblers have always been aware of the ever-looming influence of New York City, but they may as well be coming from another world. The band’s upcoming debut album Small World (out 9/25 via Symphonic) showcases the unique perspective one develops when viewing things as both an insider and an outsider. As the music subtly reveals, growing up in the land of the Baldwin brothers, Jerry Seinfeld, Public Enemy, John Gotti Jr. and the Amityville Horror shaped bandleader/producer Michael McManus’ outlook on life in a way that’s never quite left him.
“After cutting his teeth touring with DIY alt-rock bands in high school, McManus spent practically every waking minute that he wasn’t in class holed up in his Hunter College dorm room crafting the unique hip hop production style that paved the way for collaborations with Meek Mill and Heems, as well as musical contributions to Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and Viceland’s Gaycation. With Gamblers, McManus marries the beat-making sensibility of hip hop to the song craft and jamming-in-a-room spirit of an indie rock band.
“Even in its brightest moments, Small World is replete with references to addiction, mental illness, corruption and violence, with cutting insights always lurking in the shadows between McManus’ seemingly innocuous wordplay. Title track and leadoff single “Small World,” for example, touches on (but never outright discloses) McManus’ memory of watching the parishioners in his church turn their backs and walk out by the dozen when the local priest implored them to forgive as the Catholic Church molestation scandal was starting to gather steam. McManus wrote the song as a more general exploration of what happens when people collectively reach a breaking point with systems of thinking that fail us — a rather apropos sentiment as people take to the streets en masse demanding that America finally come to terms with its past.
“Since his formative years, McManus has also worked in his family’s business, Peter McManus Cafe — one of NYC’s oldest and most storied bars and also a film set for Saturday Night Live, Broad City, and Seinfeld. Watching the endless parade of real-life characters from such a young age honed the acutely observant lyrical outlook McManus brings to Small World. With one ear to the pulse of Long Island’s trash-strewn cultural landscape and the other focused on the human condition itself, McManus (who actually grew up a few houses down from Gotti Jr. and has many tales to tell about past and present band members’ experiences in cults, testifying against their own families in high-profile drug trials, etc) tucks his layers of meaning into lyrics that on first glance appear rather straightforward. The band’s sunny hooks may evoke The Beach Boys, but much darker things tend to wash up on the south shore, much as they do on the shores of our own conscience.”
Price: US$9.99 (Digital Download; Release Date: Sept. 25)