Local Record Review: The Wingard Manor From Long Beach

The Wingard Manor
If You Could See Yourselves
(Primitive Electro

Long Beach's David Wingard works with electronic arrangements on his self-released debut album under the name the Wingard Manor, but in delivery and approach, one can hear the started-with-a-guitar roots of his music–it's the kind of impassioned delivery that actually calls to mind many early performers in synth-pop's earliest days who had similar backgrounds, eschewing Kraftwerk's cool control for something more visceral.

Wingard's own general approach actually feels out of time in just the
right way–there's something endearing in his heart-on-his-sleeve
performances on “Smoke to Forget,” a crisp percussion click and
deep synth-bass run that calls to mind a long-lost KROQ that maybe
never quite was. It's not quite Trent Reznor's rage over the fairly
conventional arrangements on Pretty Hate Machine, but it's not too far
removed. (There's also a bit of the adolescent petulance Reznor was
known for in the murky roil of “Being Right Gets Lonely,” if only
because “I left you a note in biology” is very much a time-and-place
kind of line.)

On “Daddy Built a Chimney”–one of two songs co-written by guest singer
Sarah Moor–the slippery fretless bass and sweetly sad keyboard touches
makes everything feel that much more ghostly. Moor's other lead vocal,
“Waltz,” sounds like it could be that at the start, but when the drum
machines fire up in full speed for a midsong break, it's a nice little
touch of chaos.

Meanwhile, songs such as “Seesaw Hauntings,” featuring both Wingard and
Moor over an arrangement that alternately pulses along, and then breaks
down into a steady, slow progression, shows Wingard's got an ear for a
hook. Keep your eyes open for more, including a soon-to-be-released
second album–there's something worth checking out.

You can check out the Wingard Manor's work at www.myspace.com/thewingardmanor and www.cdbaby.com/cd/wingardmanor.

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