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Tim Barry - Manchester Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7.25
Production 7.75
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 6.25
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 74%
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Inside AP.net

Tim Barry - Manchester

Reviewed by: CellarGhosts (11/12/08)
Tim Barry - Manchester
Record Label: Suburban Home Records
Release Date: November 4, 2008


Though he is probably best known for his role as the frontman for hardcore punk heroes Avail, Tim Barry also has a softer side. Manchester, the follow-up to Barry's 2006 record, Rivanna Junction, finds him at his best, offering up honest, impassioned country music played with a refreshing dash of folk. And while it is a definite departure from his work with Avail, it never at all sounds like "that hardcore vocalist trying to be a country singer." Indeed, Barry fits the role of country singer well, something he further demonstrated on his "Revival Tour" with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music) and Be Nichols (Lucero).

With his large, commanding vocals juxtaposed against tunes that range from relaxed to restless and from lively to lovely, Barry could easily make a career out of being a folk musician, and Manchester is a strong testament to this. "Ronnie Song" is a somber ballad that rests on a gorgeous piano progression, featuring vocal harmony reminiscent of that found on Bruce Springsteen's landmark Nebraska album. "This November" is another choice cut, and with it's unapologetically catchy melody and interesting use of banjo and violin, it makes its impression immediately and will likely stay in your head after first listen.

However, the album has its faults. "South Hill" sounds almost like filler material, with its fairly routine lyrics. The music itself is fine, but lines like "When my girl got pregnant / I dropped right out of school / But there's no work in South Hill / So what else could I do?" sound just a bit cliche, at least when compared to the strength of the lyrics found elsewhere on the album. "Sagacity Gone," while a quite good song on its own, becomes just a bit forgettable when sandwiched between two of the finest cuts on the record (the aforementioned "Ronnie Song" and "This November"). So while Manchester is a stand-out effort as a whole, there is room for improvement - something which we'll hopefully see on Barry's next effort.

Recommended if You LikeChuck Ragan's Feast or Famine; Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska; Drag the River's Closed

myspace.com/timbarryrva
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
01:23 PM on 11/21/08
#2
Justin_stacy
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I happen to like South Hill, and the story told.

This was probably my least favorite Barry release, just seemed like some of the passion was missing. Good review though.
02:01 PM on 11/21/08
#3
CellarGhosts
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I happen to like South Hill, and the story told.

This was probably my least favorite Barry release, just seemed like some of the passion was missing. Good review though.
Oh, I mean, I like South Hill too and the story is pretty good but for some reason it just sounded really familiar to me. I don't know.

But thanks. I'm not 100% sure where it stands yet, as far as favorite or least favorite of his releases go.
02:16 PM on 11/21/08
#4
Justin_stacy
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I thiink it sounds familar because its basically Dog Bumped with different lyrics. If Tim Barry has one fault its that his story telling ability is pretty one dimmensional. He has his way and he doesn't deviate much from it.
02:19 PM on 11/21/08
#5
CellarGhosts
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I thiink it sounds familar because its basically Dog Bumped with different lyrics. If Tim Barry has one fault its that his story telling ability is pretty one dimmensional. He has his way and he doesn't deviate much from it.
Yeah that's probably it now that you mention it. I probably should have mentioned that aspect of his lyrics in the review, come to think of it.
02:28 PM on 11/21/08
#6
Justin_stacy
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I don't think anyone going to beat you over the coals about it, it was still a really good review.
Hell i'd be amazed if anyone besides you and me (and a small handfull of others) even care about this release.

I can't write worth a shit so I can't do it myself, but this site needs a review of Common Cold by Austin Lucas. If I can be so bold as to suggest your next review, that should be it.
02:44 PM on 11/21/08
#7
CellarGhosts
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I don't think anyone going to beat you over the coals about it, it was still a really good review.
Hell i'd be amazed if anyone besides you and me (and a small handfull of others) even care about this release.

I can't write worth a shit so I can't do it myself, but this site needs a review of Common Cold by Austin Lucas. If I can be so bold as to suggest your next review, that should be it.
Haha, it's cool, and thanks, I appreciate the positive feedback. I would be surprised as well if that many people on here showed much interest in this album.

The only thing I've got (or have even heard really) by Austin Lucas is the album he did with Chuck Ragan. Good stuff, so I'd be interested in checking out more.
03:00 PM on 11/21/08
#8
Justin_stacy
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no shit, oh' man Austin Lucas is probably my favorite of this new crop of Punk'ers turned folk singers.

(notice his gutar, this machine kills zombies)

He has an anti-war song call Hollywood that will almost make you cry, but I can't find a link.

http://www.myspace.com/austinlucas1

*interested in knowing what you think.
03:13 PM on 11/21/08
#9
CellarGhosts
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alright, good deal man. I'll take a listen.
07:11 AM on 11/24/08
lew_1987
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I thought Avail were a half decent band, so I'll have to check this out at some point.
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