Paul Manousos : Common Thread

paul_manousos_common_thread.jpgSan Francisco resident Paul Manousos strikes gold on his second solo album, Common Thread. The former frontman for POWER13 once again teams with master producer Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees), and the two forces collide on memorable tracks, "Rhumba #23 (yzarc)," "Spell I’m Under," and a graceful cover of Merle Haggard’s "Silver Wings."

Just one listen to "Real World," and Manousos’ spell is instantly cast, a mixture of painstaking pop-rock bravado, wrenching vocal treatments, and punching power chords and choruses. Manousos plays guitar, piano and vibraphone, but receives ample backup from Peter Canton on bass, Darrin Fox on electric guitars, and Andrew Griffin’s steady backbeat on drums.

Fisk turns the control room knobs to great effect on set closer "Slow Poison," and Common Thread’s polished sound is largely attributable to his oversight. But, Paul Manousos is the real star, a new, modern roots rocker from the West, packing forceful compositions and rollicking instrumental momentum for ammo combined with the gentle humility and emotional sweep of a balladeer on the aptly titled Common Thread.  

Common Thread is out March 18 on Shock and Fall Recordings.