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Album Review

Hailing from Athens, GA, alternative rock band Five-Eight fell under the long shadow of musical elders like R.E.M. and Pylon. To their credit, Five-Eight stood tall to the challenge, hiding shades of every influential rock band in the history of the genre beneath crashing chords, ringing rhythms, and obscured vocals. The commercial and critical ascendance of bands like Nirvana made it perfectly acceptable for songwriters to exorcise their internal demons in public, and Five-Eight's charismatic and somewhat neurotic frontman Mike Mantione uses Weirdo as both a forum for his musical dreams and as his own personal therapy couch. Delivering his surreal and somewhat coded lyrics in a thin, strained voice above the musical din created by guitarist Sean Dunn, bassist Dan Horowitz, and drummer Patrick Ferguson, Mantione comes across as the Woody Allen of rock & roll. The resulting collection of songs takes the listener on an emotional and musical roller-coaster ride, Weirdo not as user-friendly as most pop-inflected Athens bands but instead a deeply personal and sometimes frightening look into the abyss of Mike Mantione's tormented soul. ~ Rev. Keith A. Gordon, Rovi


Formed: Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Athens, GA emo unit Five Eight was the vehicle of singer/guitarist Mike Mantione, a self-professed manic depressive whose music exorcised his personal demons in grim detail. Debuting in 1989 with the self-released Passive-Aggressive cassette, the band -- which also comprised longtime bassist Dan Horowitz, guitarist Sean Dunn and drummer Patrick '"Tigger'" Ferguson -- resurfaced two years later with Inflatable Sense of Self. Signing to the Sky label, in 1992 Five Eight issued their first full-length...
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Weirdo, Five Eight
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