Fresh Rot – Mannequin Men

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Out of the Windy City comes a quartet with a chilly rock soul. Nothing new, perhaps cold, calculating, it's dirty garage punk held in sway by revivalist rock n roll. Mannequin Men display this restrained excess on their new album Fresh Rot, released on Chicago’s indie label Flameshovel Records.

Already earning entrance into that old club of infamy by means of wild performance, this latest album largely succeeds as an advertisement for their unhinged live show, smearing attitude and swagger over their entire track listing. From first track “Private School”, singer/guitarist Kevin Richard’s sneering vocals seek to resurrect who other than the Rolling Stones and Stooges. Same controlled chaos in the lyrics, same trustworthy rhythm section and arrangements (from bassist Rick Berger, guitarist Ethan D’Ercole and drummer Seth Bohn). There are countless acts trumpeting garage rock; Mannequin Men are offbeat enough to actually embody the spirit of individual expression that precludes entry into the club. They don’t bother trying to claim it, they already own it.

Likewise, Kevin Richards doesn't seem to try too hard lyrically, allowing his rock n roll truisms to accompany the general spirit of the band, and in turn adding another layer of accompaniment to their sturdy rhythm and blues. Fresh Rot, recalling something filthy we've heard a hundred times before that somehow seems new again, lives up to its boisterous claim.