Manitoba released the staggering Up in Flames in 2003. It sounded like the wild blend of shoegaze guitars and textures and messed up electronic beats everyone was hoping Kevin Shields might someday come up with. "Jacknuggeted" was the first single released from the album. The title track was one of the best on Up in Flames and is presented here in the album mix with Dan Snaith, Manitoba's brain trust, sweetly crooning over the insistent handclaps, glitchy drums, and phased wall of guitars. The other three tracks on the EP were recorded at the same sessions as the album and sound good enough to have been included. "Olé" is a sunny, acoustic guitar and organ-based dream pop ballad with pounding Zeppelin-esque drums; "Thistles and Felt" is a driving, up-tempo song with xylophone breakdowns and a naggingly catchy synth part; and, perhaps best of all, is "Seaweed," which sounds like the Wrecking Crew warming up while circling the earth in a spacecraft only to be brought back down by more xylophones and acoustic guitars. The xylophone is one of the most underrated instruments in pop music and also one of the best when used right. Manitoba uses it right. In fact, Manitoba does everything right.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra