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Monday, October 23, 2006

Mark H. » Music » The Mankins - "Spend The Night Alone"

You Said It Was A Good Size! 7" Review by Mark H.
The Manikins
Spend The Night Alone 7”
Plastic Idol Records

This label just keeps pumping out the hits. And while I don’t mean to diminish Plastic Idol in any way, I’ve seen a lot more consistency with small (and even the bigger) punk labels recently. The punk blow-up of the 90s is now officially 10 years behind us (breakthroughs like Smash and Out Come The Wolves are now 11 years old – yikes!) and for a long stretch every punk band on the planet was being put to tape, even if it sounded like yaks shitting in a tunnel full of bees. Nowadays though, bands like the Manikins have room to breathe. Those jagged guitars sound fresh again, and the hooks are baited with 70s roots-punk without seeming stale.

“Spend The Night Alone” rips through the A-side like any good single should: A thumping garage rock backbeat and verses that rip like a ’63-era Beatles on double time. As good as that nugget is, “Still Afraid Of Girls” might be even better. This time the guitars bring in a little rebellious twang, the drums gallop along, and there’s a solo that’s reminiscent of a rudimentary Revered Horton Heat or even something (gasp!) non-punk like Friends of Dean Martinez. The song itself is a perplexing tune, as the lyrics are standard shy-guy fare, but the singer has a bitter and biting tone that seeps with confidence. “Take 5” is just icing. After these solid gold tracks it’s just there to remind you to flip the slab and start all over again.

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