Manor Gates - So Much Brooding
The maniacs behind Refresh Records and We’re Trying Records have seemingly given up and thrown all caution to the wind, embracing our future AI overlords as they share their latest creation: Manor Gates
Manor Gates will tell you it’s are a trio of humans from the completely plausible sounding city of Columbus, OH. It’s done a great job manufacturing a back story through show flyers depicting performances alongside notable artists like Sweet Pill, Ben Quad, Weakened Friends and Palette Knife, as well as social media histories for the band and it’s supposed members. There’s even an entirely algorithmically self-released EP to boot. It’s music resonates with frequencies that appeal to the technically inclined emo and pop-punk listeners of today. The lyrics even made ChatGPT spin up extra servers to process a response. Real recognize real, I guess.
By all accounts, Manor Gates is a completely plausible replacement for today’s musically indoctrinated human being. It took a real sleuth digging through the layers to recognize the telltale AI patterns. An album title copied from dialogue found in the 2011 action-adventure video game, Batman: Arkham City. Artwork that only seems real on a cursory glance, which, let’s be honest, is all we have time to give it these days. Even the outdated default template of white male performers highlights the shortcomings of whatever demented AI it’s creators used. It’s easy to miss the signs, but they can be found buried in the details.
When we reached out to inquire about the implications of AI generated music, Refresh Records rapidly replied with a terse ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. We’re Trying Records chimed in to add, “We’re trying to keep up in the post-COVID world. What more needs to be said?”
While the motivations behind Manor Gates creation remain open to interpretation, we can’t argue with the output. It’s lead singles, Yee-Haw b/w Smooth Cortex, capture an energy that required us to chug a 4-pack of Red Bull and disconnect from doomscrolling for a solid 7.75 minutes. Today’s drop, HI-RES JPEG, felt like a mistaken output exposing the inner workings of the AI on first glance, but on a deeper listen we recognized the deliberate strokes of humanity found within the track’s main riff and lyrics. “I’m one bad t-shirt away from a fucking crisis,” appears to even provide commentary on the whole Gildan vs Comfort Colors debate found in DIY circles, at least to this listener.
Whatever this is, it warrants a moment of everyone’s time. If this is the future of AI, I’m scared to admit out loud that I am okay with it.
Manor Gates debut album, So Much Brooding, arrives on November 10. “Blood moon” vinyl is available for preorder now via Refresh Records and We’re Trying Records. The irony does not escape us.