Authentic Tensegrity

by The Mood Manual

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about

Review of Authentic Tensegrity by Kent Heberling on Those Who Dig (thosewhodig.net):

The long-awaited debut album from Madison-based progressive hard-rock outfit, The Mood Manual, finally lands on May 3rd. Authentic Tensegrity, the result of months of recording, mixing, and mastering, brilliantly displays the band’s talents and well-represents the best efforts of the local scene.

True to the album's title, each element of the band shines at moments and supports in others. This is especially evident in "Gold Mine," which features a talk box bass solo over driving guitar and drum ostinato, a viola chorus, haunting vocal harmonies, and an ending section of trading instrumental virtuosity. This band exemplifies four talented individuals coming together and creating a greater whole.

Throughout, Andrew "Gio" Giordano's plentiful but not constant use of double-bass gives most songs a sense of urgency without resorting to straight-forward pummeling found all too often in the genre. His excellent control of syncopations and mixed meters similarly whip the music along artistically. The excellent mix gives nearly equal prominence to James Fabry’s thick bass tones as it does to Matt McHugh’s sometimes crunchy, sometimes smooth guitar. The album also features powerful lead vocal delivery from Tyler Kundinger and artistic, often falsetto backups from Fabry in songs like "Architect."

With some funky elements like the breakdown of "Black Massasauga," some punk elements like the drums in "Heresy," some soundscape interludes, and plenty of prog rock throughout, Authentic Tensegrity blends and balances the bands influences and original ideas into a heartfelt and artistic debut well worth a dedicated listen.

credits

released May 3, 2015

All music written, performed, and produced by The Mood Manual. Recorded by Paul Vnuk at Moss Garden, except tracks 1 and 6 recorded by Mike Scheibinger at VertuArts. Mixed by Paul Vnuk at Moss Garden. Mastered by Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering. Artwork and visual design by Carolyn Horst.

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The Mood Manual Madison, Wisconsin

The Mood Manual autonomously creates authentic and unique art with the elegance to amplify awareness for those who absorb it.

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Track Name: Feeling Symbol
FEELING SYMBOL | LYRICS

Sleep? Sleeping is dead
Time? Time will do nothing for you
Dreams? Dreaming is null
Life? Life is distraction

Just let it drift away

Pain? Pain is alive
Fear? Fear is the truth within you
Cold? Cold is so pure
Death? Death is your freedom

Just let it drift away

The numbness will pour over me
In time I will cease to be
And when I can no more see
Then—then will I feel like a symbol of peace?

We? We are but one
Now? Now is the time

Let your mind drift away

The numbness will pour over me
In time I will cease to be
And when I can no more see
Then—then I will feel like a symbol of peace!

You are not your own
You are but a part of something greater
You are just a symbol

The numbness has poured over me
In time I have ceased to be
And now I can no more see
Now—now I can feel like a symbol

You are not your own
You are but a piece
Track Name: Concrete Stiletto
CONCRETE STILETTO | LYRICS

I’ve had enough of your lies
This dissonance is killing me
Slow down, breathe out
I’ve given all of myself
The light inside of my heart has burned out

Fall out of love
Take your chains away
Fade, fade, fade, getting over again
For the millionth time, fade away
Sleep for ever more

Now she’s drowning in you
The same way you smothered the flame
Slow down, let go
We’ve given all of ourselves
Why can’t you see that the fire has burned out
Track Name: Architect
ARCHITECT | LYRICS

A child and a snake, innocently they play
The one, the other unafraid
Unafraid
The mother sees the two, she cries out in fear
The serpent panics, the serpent bites
The mother cries, and the child
The child learns the mother’s fear
And so it goes

Such is the way we live and learn
Hey there friend, keep your head
And don’t you build your walls

The masses of people and their humble king
High up on the hill, proud of all they have made
Gilded towers gleam beneath the light of the sun
Built by wisdom, work of many hands
Now there’s no light of day and the thieves have all come to play
Will the king put all of his people away?
Build up your walls, put us away
Because of the few who’ve chosen to stray
We’ll rise above, we always do
History shows people like you

Those who lead by fear will lose
Hey there friend, go ahead
And you just build your walls

We don’t need fear
We live our lives
You build your walls
We break them down

Those who lead by fear will lose
Hey there friend, go ahead
And you just build your walls
Build your walls, build them tall
Track Name: Heresy
HERESY | LYRICS

Is it noise, or are you just waking up? Are we free?

Oh, say, can you hear this, our plea
So proud we steal your twilight dreams
Our melody your only song
If you are brave, feel free to sing along.

There is nothing better than taking chances
Take a glance and see that this is better than
Staring at screens, staring at dreams
While they’re walking away
Take a chance and see that this is better than
Walking away.

And now you stand upon the shore
From out the waves our armies rise
We bring you havoc, war, and sound
And leave our torch to mark the ground
Our melody your only song
And if you’re brave, feel free to sing along.
Track Name: Black Massasauga
BLACK MASSASAUGA | LYRICS

Feeling the venomous fangs
Now flooding, pumping through your veins
Like flame
Burning alive

Screaming sirens come so near
Fear the hissing sound in your ear
Screaming sirens come so near
Fear the hissing sound in your ear

Black as death

Cannot move your lips to speak
Just silent, strangled, try to scream
“I’M WIDE AWAKE!
Somebody please hear me now…”

Screaming sirens come so near
Fear the hissing sound in your ear
Screaming sirens come so near
Fear the hissing sound in your ear
Scream in silence, scream in fear
The man in blue will never hear
Scream in silence, scream in fear
The man in blue will never hear

Death is blue

Wake up sleepy if you please
He will kill you while you dream
Screaming sirens come so near
Fear the drilling sound in your ear
Scream in silence, scream in fear
The man in blue will never hear

Death is blue
Track Name: Gold Mine
GOLD MINE | LYRICS

We’re fresh out of wonder
We see all the indecision over
That voice is a whisper
We travel with honor, men, and funds

You pay, we saddle
You shout it, boy you’ve got it wrong
We score, you settle
We live, try and stay but you’re clueless
We are the ones who decide if your lovers come home

You’re going to nowhere
We’ll take you as animals or fur
You’re leaving tomorrow
This caravan will be taking a plunge

You pay, we saddle
You shout it, boy you’re still so wrong
You arrive, we count it
Free ourselves, no guilt
We own you suckers
We will decide the place you will be calling your home

Fleeting moment underneath the story line
Take from the suggestions in the least forgiving two minds
All’s the same here anyway
Broken like our enemies will say

We won’t sell you our bodies
You don’t choose our battles
We are few, we have power to choose
We won’t settle

You suckers, you’re clueless
You’re in a gold mine.
Track Name: Ï
Ï | LYRICS

I can see you beaming like a little boy
And I can see you’re hardened by your precious toy
I’d love to take it away from you
To see if you’d be braggin’ all up in my face
And watch if you’d still shag everything in my space
Oh, how I’d love to get through to you

So I’ll
Punch it, scratch it, kick it, bite it

Does it make you feel better?
Does it make your dick bigger?
Place your eyeballs in my hands so I can squeeze

You’ll never amount to nothing you mother-
So small, so little
Feel better?
Track Name: Tech Tonics
TECH TONICS | LYRICS

In this world of plastic, steel, and stone
Where concrete is considered home
The only thing that’s soft enough to touch is skin
(we’ll all just buckle beneath the weight of our own)

But men,
Men cannot be soft, they must be stone
And women only skin and bone
So skin is hardened by the greed within our soul
(we’ll all just buckle beneath the weight of our own greed)
Unless we just break the chains of our own greed

My world is crumbling for you
Just show me what I have to do to break these chains that can’t be seen
Light a flame beneath the seam

Naive,
Naive is not the word for this
It’s not a thought you just dismiss
No more can people live beneath the shroud of greed
(we’ll all just buckle beneath the weight of our own)

In this world of plastic, steel, and stone
Where we will soon take back our home
Where kindness, mercy, joy, and love will fill our soul
(we’ll all just buckle beneath the weight of our own greed)
Unless we just break the chains of our own greed

My world is crumbling for you
Just show me what I have to do to break these chains that can’t be seen
Light a flame beneath the seam

Let out the fire from the core
Rejoice with us for evermore

Your choice.
Track Name: Alchemy
ALCHEMY | LYRICS

Hey, they’re not coming, they’re not coming over
Oh, hail the other, hail the other notion
(running away, running away…)
Whoa, killed by loco-, killed by locomotion

Never only innocent
Only meant to find a friend
Had enough of time or space
Now I long to see your face
Only meant to find…
Only in my mind...

Dreams of golden scenes will hold me here,
Lost in my head
Tears and bold pretenses push me there,
Lost among friends

Feed my inner need to fill the void
Lost and unfed
Searing boiling brew must hold the truth
Lost without friends

I am the world’s most powerful alchemist.
Just by thinking I can turn anything into you!

Here a flower, there a mood, the color of a pen, and my favorite food is yours
See how all of the things are the same, and up till now I’ve been relatively tame!
(memory is cold)

I’ve come to realize Midas’ touch feels nothing without an embrace