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Dr. Manhattan

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Dr. Manhattan is a “rock” band from Wauconda Illinois. The band’s ever-shifting backstory- which depends on who you ask and when you ask it- juxtaposes itself naturally with their music, which is, truly, indefinable and has the overwhelming sense of perpetually evolving as it is played, both on and off the stage. The idea that it is, as Vombrack says, everything and nothing at the same time is showcased rather brilliantly on the band’s self-titled debut album (3/11/08), which was written and recorded prior to signing with Vagrant Records in June of 2007 (and even includes the first song the band ever wrote, “The Party’s Opinion”). The album, an ear-bending experience that good-naturedly shoves its listener through a sonic landscape that transforms and surprises at every turn, is an amalgam of styles, sounds and emotions. “The only common element in the songs is that we wrote them,” explains singer and guitarist Matt Engers. “We try not to repeat ourselves as best we can. We try to touch all corners of the creative world.”

The world of Dr. Manhattan revolves from the raucous, in-your-face melodies of album opener “Big Chomper, Big Chomper,” an introductory track that reveals the band’s skill for drawing intrigue and beauty out of the depths of cacophony, to the lighter, eclectic “Claims Should Echo,” where hooks emerge from places one would never expect them to hide, to the soaring, admirably lovely “Gunpowder: A Ballet,” a song that blossoms with hushed emotion and layers propulsive guitars with graceful keys. The record, which should absolutely be heard as a whole rather than a collection of songs on a disc, dances through high and low, loud and soft, callous and delicate with not-so-reckless abandon, shattering preconceived notions.

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