Album Reviews

Haley Bowery And The Manimals – Born Strange Review

Released By: Self-Released

Genre : Punk Rock

Link : http://www.facebook.com/haleybowery

 

Lineup:

Haley Bowery – Vocals, Guitar

Patrick Deeney – Guitar

Joe Wallace – Bass

Attis Clopton – Drums

 

Tracklist:

01. Born Strange

02. Blitzed

03. 29

04. Undertow

05. Lobotomy

06. Jukebox Dive

07. Twelve Secrets

08. Helloween

09. Dream Of The Chelsea Hotel

10. All Lies

 

Today we have something a little different for My Global Mind, but an album that I think all of our readers should at least hear about. The album BORN STRANGE is the full-length debut from NCY based singer Haley Bowery and her backing band, known as THE MANIMALS. Now, as some of the regular readers of this site may recall, I’m not much of a fan of Female vocals in rock music… I’ve been through the full explanation a few times in previous reviews, so let us just say that it’s not a sexist thing at all, I just honestly feel there has been very, very few individual standout chick rockers over the journey. Some of the girls that have really stood out for me though are singers like Debbie Harry, Courtney Love, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett and Liz Phair…So it’s no coincidence that each and every one of these names is listen in the promo material for the album I am reviewing either as influences or comparisons.

Musically, Bowery and Co have opted for a sort of middle ground between Glam Punk and Commercial Modern Rock, and while the format occasionally gets lost in translation, more often than not the band manages to pull it off. Where the album shines through though is in Bowery’s ability to recall that sultry vibe of female rockers from the past, but still somehow keep an innocent side to her that allows for enough vulnerability to make the listener feel that these songs are tales of a strong woman that also has a soft side that is as damaged as the rest of us, not some immortal, man-hating, fist-waving, power chick like some of them come off these days.

The more commercial-ish elements of the album sort of flew by me without interesting me much, but when Bowery calls upon her more rebellious and punky side then I’m all ears. The opening track, BORN STRANGE is right in the avenue of what the band should be striving for stylistically. The first lyrics you will hear are “I was born strange, with a comet’s name, tryin’ to find a way to exist on this plane”, and this is sung over a simplistic punk rock 3 chord progression….It’s twenty or so seconds of pure attitude that really sets the album up. Other highlights come along in tracks like the NIRVANA mixed with HOLE sounding LOBOTOMY and the fantastic DREAMS OF THE CHELSEA HOTEL which brings back memories of all-girl punk/grunge group L7.

I do have one small complaint though and it has to do with the production values rather than the music itself. Now, while I understand the band are happy to put Haley right up front and centre, which is a logical decision from a marketing point of view, but the final production has taken this element a little too far by having her voice too high up in the mix. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but it is one of those little annoyances I just couldn’t shake. BORN STRANGE is a good starting point for this band to build on and with a more balanced production and a little more of the edgier, punk-ish stuff it could have been even better.

 

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 7/10

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