Manual Scan were the champions of retro '60s-flavored rock & roll in the West Coast mod revival of the late 1970s. In many ways, they unified the movement between bands playing new material and those lovingly recreating '60s British pop styles. Manual Scan had it both ways, coming up with clever tunes that had overt '60s influences while still remaining new and fresh. This 21-track compilation brings together their very best from 1980 to 1992, bringing together impossibly rare tracks (some only previously available as flexi-discs) along with some previously unreleased material. Manual Scan played catchy, edgy power-pop very much in the spirit of the Jam minus the political slant; the guitar work between leaders Bart Mendoza and Kevin Ring is as solid a two-guitar team in a small-combo format as you're likely to hear in this genre. Highlights include "Nothing You Can Do," "Bird," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "And We Still Feel the Same" and nice covers of "Shapes of Things to Come," "I Can Only Give You Everything," and the Zombies' "It's Alright With Me," the latter group being a seminal influence. Some powerful power-pop music from a band that deserves a much wider hearing.
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