Dr. Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan
Location:Wauconda, IL (USA)
Genres:Rock / Alternative
Record Label:Vagrant Records
80 Fans
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The Billboard
Dr. Manhattan

Matt Engers- Vocals, Guitar
Adam Engers- Bass, Vocals
Nick Vombrack- Drums, Vocals
Andrew Morrison- Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals

This is a bio about everything and nothing at the same time. It’s a bio about discarding all previous knowledge of music and musicians that make it and fans that listen to it, and achieving a fresh perception of what music can be. This is the bio that will precede the revolution.

That revolution, as you may anticipate, comes in the form of a band, namely a scrappy fourpiece from Lake County, IL that goes by the name Dr. Manhattan. According to legend (or perhaps the tongue-in-cheek self-indulgence the band embodies), Dr. Manhattan was spawned in 2005 under some rather unusual circumstances after the four members spent much of their lives growing up together. “We were acquired in the previous Dr. Manhattan who was actually a pirate ship,” says drummer Nick Vombrack. “They captured us and have been training us for the past two years and one day they were too old to do it anymore so we took the reigns and became the Dread Pirate Ship Dr. Manhattan.”

The band’s ever-shifting backstory- which depends on who you ask and when you ask it- juxtaposes itself naturally with their music, which is, truly, indefinable and has the overwhelming sense of perpetually evolving as it is played, both on and off the stage. The idea that it is, as Vombrack says, everything and nothing at the same time is showcased rather brilliantly on the band’s self-titled debut album (3/11/08), which was written and recorded prior to signing with Vagrant Records in June of 2007 (and even includes the first song the band ever wrote, “The Party’s Opinion”). The album, an ear-bending experience that good-naturedly shoves its listener through a sonic landscape that transforms and surprises at every turn, is an amalgam of styles, sounds and emotions. “The only common element in the songs is that we wrote them,” explains singer and guitarist Matt Engers. “We try not to repeat ourselves as best we can. We try to touch all corners of the creative world.”

The world of Dr. Manhattan revolves from the raucous, in-your-face melodies of album opener “Big Chomper, Big Chomper,” an introductory track that reveals the band’s skill for drawing intrigue and beauty out of the depths of cacophony, to the lighter, eclectic “Claims Should Echo,” where hooks emerge from places one would never expect them to hide, to the soaring, admirably lovely “Gunpowder: A Ballet,” a song that blossoms with hushed emotion and layers propulsive guitars with graceful keys. The record, which should absolutely be heard as a whole rather than a collection of songs on a disc, dances through high and low, loud and soft, callous and delicate with not-so-reckless abandon, shattering preconceived notions. “We want to ruin everyone’s current thoughts on music and replace them with what we’re doing,” Vombrack says, “which is really organized chaos.”

Dr. Manhattan is a band about proving everything and nothing at the same time. They are about creating music that both lacks intent and is full of intent at the same time. They are a band who instigate their revolution whether you are on board their pirate ship or not, but they want you to be there at the same time. “Now is such a good time to be making music because everyone is so starving for some good,” Engers says. “These are the times when something good happens. This is when everything changes.”

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Last Updated: 04/15/14

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