Thursday, May 26, 2011

Manikin - Keep Dancing Charlie - on Super Secret Records

Richard over at Super Secret Records was kind enough to send me his latest release from Austin based Manikin, who have been around for at least 10 years and this one had me looking back at Super Secret's catalog to backtrack this Texas post punk bands sound.

The A-Side, "Minority Rules":

I forget where it was the other day that I randomly heard 'At Home He's a Tourist", but it sent me off on yet another Gang of Four listening party super party (as MP3's no less, hopefully ebay will rectify that sad situation already) and I'm floored that these guys are essentially carrying this sound around perfectly in 2011. Entertainment! sounds as good to me and literally timeless, as the first time I heard it start to finish, and that bare bones, minimal sound is exactly what Manikin is up to on this track, down to the vocals. That similar spoken, hardly a melody vocal delivery, the strong determined foundation bassline and basically experimental guitar noise that evolves into the chorus... granted Manikin here gets more traditionally blues rocking at points and the rat distorted bass comes off as synth. Everything drops out halfway through for that echo vocal only section and that staccato gated guitar sound right out of that jittery, nervous post punker playbook.
It's even reminding me of The Sediment Club, who I wish would have a full length out already, that similar socially abstract lyric, and no-wave sound.

"Hole" on the B-Side has Alfonso and Alyse singing together over the slightest power chord back and forth melody with muted harmonics and steady 1,2 beat. It's a great sound the two of them playing off one another in a weird sort of anti-harmony. There's just a great disordered guitar performance on this one that illustrates Alfonso's talents to be perfectly in jumpy time, to solo squealing feedback with an array of delay. It's got that spontaneity every time you hear it, working independently from the rhythm section while supporting this great abstract lyric, devolving along with the state of mind of it's subject.

This is a great one, down to the military stripes and stencil font inner label design, so glad they released these two gems from a recent recording session (new album?). 300 copies, the first 100 on red, paypal $6 to supersecretrecords at hotmail.

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