By: Evan Townsend
April 26 marks the release date for The Manhattan Project’s second EP, Atomic Bomb Party Vol. 2. The Rochester duo has garnered a loyal fan base with their live shows (performing with acts such as Lotus and BioDiesel) as well as the 2009 debut release of the first volume of Atomic Bomb Party. As with their first album, Shawn Drogan mans the drums and samples, while Charlie Lindner works the synths.
In Vol. 2, as in Vol. 1, The Manhattan Project’s bold choice to keep the drums and ditch the machine, gives them a leg up in their production of an effortlessly original style. But while the second volume delivers more of the same cool, smooth style their fans have come to love, it also sees the band start to embrace their ability to create faster dance grooves.
No better testament to this style can be found than “Atomic,” a song that’s equally as comfortable pulsing through a set of worn-out headphones as through rows of eighteen-inch speakers. The song transforms from downtempo introspection to infectious and punchy, then back again.
In much the same style, “New World Anthem” sets off with slight undertones of dark electro-funk, but makes a radical shift midway to slower, shimmering synths. Sharp, gleaming notes drape the rattling skeleton of Drogan’s drum skills in the beat-driven “Infectious.”
“When Worlds Collide” and “All My Friends” are both hypnotic, but where “When Worlds Collide” climbs for an outro of four-on-the-floor intensity, “All My Friends” floats comfortably along in the realm of syncopated chill.
Vol. 1 marked a strong start for The Manhattan Project and left fans with certain expectations. With their latest album, The Manhattan Project has met the high standard Drogan and Linder have set for their anthology. Regardless of the duo’s studio efforts, the proof will be in the pudding—on the dancefloor.
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