Mannequin Men – Fresh Rot
September 18, 2007
What It Sounds Like: Clanging retro rock and roll from 20-somethings that sound too lazy to make a true impact.
You know that room in the basement of your college dorm that had a lot of old desks and furniture in it? Concrete floors, bad lighting? It had an old lock on the door to keep people out, but for some reason, it never seemed to be locked because nobody really cared about anything that was in there?
Mannequin Men are the guys who would use that room to pound on their instruments because they couldn’t get good booking anywhere else in town.
I understand that this isn’t supposed to be any sort of high-quality recording, but the mixing here is just flat. The drums are hollow. The bass is there, but almost blends in so seamlessly it starts to become irrelevant. Frontman Kevin Richard’s vocals aren’t expected to sound anywhere near perfect, but man, they should certainly sound better than this! It sounds like he’s singing through a thin sheet of plastic wrap into his mic.
In the most basic sense, these songs are what they are, and nothing further. They simply just blend together so much that you find yourself asking – what’s the point of continuing further into this disc? Tracks like Dead Kids, Sewers, Pigpen – they’re all derived from the same cloth, dyed slightly different shades, but ultimately find these guys playing another slightly indie, slightly punky, slightly retro guitar riff, backed up with some dime-a-dozen bass, after-school-lesson drums, and some whiny vocals that don’t really do any sort of job to grow on you.
Ultimately: It’s listenable.
Overall: It’s completely passable.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Private School / Boys (They Don’t Mind)