Manikin

Record review

Texas Platters

Manikin

Still (Super Secret)

If they added any more reverb to guitarist Alfie Rabago's voice, he'd be across the street holding a tin can up to his mouth as sound waves traveled a piece of string. Fortunately for Manikin, sophomore LP Still carefully toes the line between complete distortion and mind-bending transience. Now with ex-Winks drummer Alyse Mervosh behind the kit (and behind the mic on "Maps"-esque closer "Carry On") and B.J. Schindler thumping rhythm, the local trio has sprinted away from classic punk rock toward a more textured, euphoric atmosphere. Opening with a firey, scolding piece of pre-1980 CBGB's, "Face the Wall," Still whips through nine guitar-driven warnings, all spun with dueling amounts of anxiety and apathy. While "Disconnect" wouldn't be out of place on some late-night Adult Swim cartoon ("Danger! Danger! Forbidden zone!"), "Monkey Blood" fills the political hole. What the years have provided Manikin is retrospect. No more are they malcontented youngsters as heard on their eponymous 2002 debut. Now they're empowered, and the anger built up in "Lose Control" proves who Rabago has become: an artist hellbent on speaking his mind. And if it's too much reverb for you, you just don't get it.

***.5

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