Manikin

Stop the Sirens (Super Secret)

Texas Platters

Manikin

Stop the Sirens (Super Secret)

Manikin's metronomic punk aggression manifests a disciplined, restrained attack, lying in wait rather than charging. The Austin quartet's dystopian point of view gets pressed in wax with third LP Stop the Sirens, and the rhythmic crossbeams of "Death March," re-recorded from 2007's M Theory 7-inch, points to exactly what makes Manikin so efficient. The band's cover of the Cure's "Grinding Halt" tightens the jangle and turns it into futuristic chant, while "Mirrors" and "Sirens" ride dark waves out of three chords. "Leaders" cuts into the meat of Manikin's sound: big, thick basslines and tightly coiled drums; guitar strangling itself on the margins; Bill Jeffery's trumpet punctuating sentences here and there. It's synergy, pure and simple, so when the slow strum of closer "Later Days" brings the album to a not-so-grinding halt, your mind is already craving the heavy stuff again. That's the sneak attack. (Manikin turns on its siren in-store at Sound on Sound, Friday, June 26.)

***.5

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