The Manatees

The Manatees Biography

The Manatees

Ministers of Nineties Neo Surf

Or Mood Millennialists with a Tiki Twist?

Either way, ya gotta love the Manatees, a Seattle based five piece whose musical resumes range from the pioneering punk of The Dehumanizers and Slam Suzzanne to the pre-Cocktail cool of The Tiny Hat Orchestra and the country twang of The Milwaukee All Stars.

Together, the Manatees combine the crashing aggression of sixties surf music, with an exotic brew of influences ranging from jazz and funk to Middle Eastern and Spanish flavors. If the Ventures and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass drove a train through the middle of a Cal Tjader set at the Tiki Torch Lounge, it would probably sound something like the Manatees.

Decked out in their trademark Hawaiian shirts and "period correct" gear, the band also employs multi-media and a light show in it's performances. At a typical Manatees show you can expect to hear original instrumentals such as "Mr. Manatee" and "Mendoza" along with covers of classic tunes ranging from "Our Man Flint" and "Peace Pipe" to "Journey To The Stars" and "Pipeline".

The Manatees cover such artists as Dick Dale, the Shadows, andàLed Zeppelin? Let's just say the Manatees take on Zep's "Four Sticks" has to be heard to be believed (Mark "Membey" Manatee does Plant's vocal parts on trumpet àSeventies Heavy meets Spanish Harlem).

Another highlight comes when guitarist Phil "Tone King" Manatee whips out his Thereminàan electromagnetic device which turns the twang of a guitar into the sort of eerie, otherworldly sound you'd associate with a Twilight Zone episode or a B-grade sci-fi movie. If you ever wanted to know what a UFO sounds like while riding the wild surf, you need to see the Manatees. Guitarist Mark "Hack" Manatee, bassist Dan Manatee and drummer Ed Manatee complete this volatile mix of musical voodoo.

Described by Insite Magazine as "worth any cover you payàthe noise made by this group's bass, drums, guitars, keyboard, trumpet and theremin made me a believer", the Manatees are Raw, Aggressive, Multi-Instrumentalist Gurus of Exotic Sound. They also happen to be one hell of a fun time on a Saturday night. Not bad for a band named after an endangered sea cow.


Mark Manatee

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