Monday, May 14, 2012

Music Reviews: Haley Bowery & The Manimals - "Born Strange"

In this day and age society will consider pretty much anything punk rock. If you have knee hole jeans, you're punk. If you wear old crusty shirts, you're punk. If you wear those nuthugger jeans and a studded bracelet, you're punk. You get my point, I'm sure. And it's not just a fashion thing. If you're in a band that has a guitar player, you're a punk rock band. When Avril Lavigne, Ashley Simpson and Paramore are considered punk rock, you know the term punk rock has lost any sort of credibility. And following in this class of wannabe's is Haley Bowery & The Manimals, who's debut full length "Born Strange" hits the streets in the coming days.

This 10 track album is aimed more at the Katy Perry and Pink fan than at the Clash or Misfits fan. It's over sweetened pop music disguised as a punk album with titles like "Blitzed", "Lobotomy" and "Dream Of The Chelsea Hotel". If I had to say something good about this band it's that Haley Bowery isn't that bad of a singer. It's just that she's trying to hard to be something she's not. She's more of a pop singer than a supposed punk rock singer. If this was called a teen pop album it would fit that category like a glove. The album is over polished and I don't think it could be pulled off live without a backing track and some choreographed dance moves.

The band seem competent as musicians. It's jangly at certain points, especially on the ballad style track "29" and the soft teen inspired "Undertow". But they also have some light crunch on tracks like "
Halloween". But to call this heavy would be false advertisement. If you're a young girl dealing with coming of age issues in high school, this could be the soundtrack to your sophomore year. And maybe for the thirty and fortysomething soccer mom's who want a little more edge in their lives, this would be a nice little rebellious album. And that's all fine and dandy. But it's just not what I would consider, or call a punk rock album. Different strokes for different folks. It's just not my kinda band of music.

2 / 5 stars

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