Dark and noisy postpunk that reminds me of the era when bands like Bauhaus, the Cure, PiL, and the sort were in their prime. When I tell you these guys are influenced by bands like Joy Division and early PiL, I don’t want you thinking they’re some glorified cover band. Manikin are definitely influenced by the aforementioned bands, but are still very much a band with their own sound. The rhythm section is metronomic without being robotic. Sounds to me like the bass leads and the guitar follows by bringing atmosphere and color to the songs. The vocalist sounds like he’s singing through a bullhorn. Usually this effect grates my nerves, but here it works. I must confess that I don’t really care for their cover of The Cure’s “Grinding Halt,” especially since their originals are much stronger. Just listen to “First React” and “Rule the World,” “Sirens,” “Perfect Picture,” hell, all the originals on this album, and you’ll see what I mean. Easily their best record yet. I saw Manikin back in October of 2006 at Beerland in Austin, and all I could think was they really need to tour, and, for sure, come out here to California. Only 300 made, so you better get on it.
–M.Avrg (Super Secret)