Manhattan Skyline was formed in Oslo in 2002 by drummer Steffen Sæther-Larsen, guitarist Fredrik Melby and vocalist Hans Marius Midtgarden. Subsequently, members of Kaospilot, Slingshot Idol, The Break Quintet, and Next Life joined and left.
In October 2003, they recorded their debut EP, Tarantula Arms, a 3" MCD of seven songs featuring off-time rhythm patterns.
Upon the departure of bassist Anders Braut Simonsen and guitarist Christian Johansen, the band used several part-time bassists while searching for a permanent member. A long search resulted in the selection of Sigurd Mæle.
Jørgen Waag began playing bass with the band and then played guitar for approximately a year before leaving. Following his departure, Even Bekkedal, formerly with In Dialogue With Radiometer, joined the band.
Manhattan Skyline contributed a song called "A) Spitting Milk or B) Swallow or Drown" to React With Protest's Emo Armageddon 7" compilation, which was released in February 2005 and included bands such as Funeral Diner, The Birds Are Spies They Report to the Trees, Suis La Lune, and Catena Collapse. Throughout 2005 and the beginning of 2006, the band was also writing and arranging new songs for their first full-length album.
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