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The Manix - Neighborhood Wildlife (Cover Artwork)

The Manix

The Manix: Neighborhood WildlifeNeighborhood Wildlife (2011)
It's Alive Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: DarrenMcLeodDarrenMcLeod
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Manix are a gruff-vocaled pop-punk band from Minneapolis, Minn., so it's probably easy to figure out their influences. While listening to Neighborhood Wildlife, you'll hear bits and pieces that will draw to mind names like Dillinger Four, Dear Landlord and Banner Pilot, the latter making sense g.
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The Manix are a gruff-vocaled pop-punk band from Minneapolis, Minn., so it's probably easy to figure out their influences. While listening to Neighborhood Wildlife, you'll hear bits and pieces that will draw to mind names like Dillinger Four, Dear Landlord and Banner Pilot, the latter making sense given that the Manix feature Banner Pilot's Corey Ayd on guitar and vocals. Add in the fact that the disc was mixed and mastered by Jacques Wait (who has worked with the Soviettes, Dear Landlord and Off With Their Heads, among others), there's a bit of instant familiarity with the release, which both works for it and against it.

The disc opens strong with "Fingers Crossed," a track that starts out mid-tempo but builds to a crashing (and catchy as hell) finish. "What's Myage Again?", a playful nod to the Descendents, is one of the standout tracks on the disc. The track reflects on the expectations that are placed on us as we age, with a shout-along chorus of "This place is faded / I think I may have failed it." The well-titled "She Believes in Jesus and Marketing" is another notable track, starting fast and building from there to the great closing line "I'm nothing but a heartsick heathen / I'm nobody but at least I mean it." The lyrics on the disc are quite goodâ??they're bitter without being depressing, reflective without relying on nostalgia, and instantly relatable.

As the disc progresses through its 12 songs, its greatest strength and weakness are revealed. The biggest strength is that there are no bad tracks to be found among the 12, with each song standing on its own as a good, catchy pop-punk track. The weakness, however, is that after about five songs in, the disc starts to blur together, with songs occasionally failing to have much to distinguish one from the other. Tempos, structures and vocal melodies are often similar enough that the disc starts to drag a bit in the middle.

In our glowing review of the Manix's Van Activities EP, it was noted that the only downside it suffered from was the "customary brevity" of the EP format. It's perhaps ironic then that the biggest problem with Neighborhood Wildlife is the length of an LPâ??the disc would have made three great EPs, but as 12 consecutive tracks it suffers slightly from repetition. Despite this gripe, it's still a release that's easy to recommend to fans of the genre.

You can stream the album on the band's Punknews.org profile.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Dear Landlord - Dream HomesBanner Pilot - CollapserBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificHouse Boat - The Delaware OctopusBomb the Music Industry! - VacationRVIVR - LP [12-inch]Osker - Idle Will KillDillinger Four - Versus GodThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
jizzo (August 2, 2012)

I've been reading alot of good reviews on this site lately,but my run is over with this one. What a stellar album! I couldn't say enough great things about this record and how what a fantastic listen it is start to finish, not just song 1-5 like this douchebag seems to think..

tck204 (August 2, 2012)

In the top 5 albums from the last year for me.

Ravnos (July 31, 2012)

"The weakness, however, is that after about five songs in, the disc starts to blur together, with songs occasionally failing to have much to distinguish one from the other. Tempos, structures and vocal melodies are often similar enough that the disc starts to drag a bit in the middle."

I agree with this. I enjoyed this, but it suffers the same problem as the last Banner Pilot album. The songs are all pretty samey and while they're good on their own, together this sounds like a 35 minute or so long mid-tempo pop punk song. It's a pretty good 35 minute mid-tempo pop punk song, but my attention starts to wander about halfway through. This could have been a couple of really great EP's but without a bit more variety (no jazz sections required) the length reduces it to merely a good album.

MN_DrNick (July 31, 2012)

Fuck off, Echos....

EchosMyron (July 31, 2012)

" Dillinger Four, Dear Landlord and Banner Pilot"

D4 sound absolutely nothing like those other two bands, and it`s an insult to lump them in there. Haven`t heard this album, so score is for the Ringers album I bought from It`s Alive a few years ago (incidentally, they too were erroneously compared to D4 by the reviewer).

arejaypunx (July 31, 2012)

One of last year's best, for sure. The review was a long time coming! Nice work.

BonerPirate (July 31, 2012)

Gotta agree with Dr Nick. I'd put this just a notch above Banner Pilots last record which is saying a lot considering my username.

MN_DrNick (July 31, 2012)

lukabratzi gets it.

lukabratzi (July 31, 2012)

This album is ridiculously good

"Oh my org punk band sounds too org punk I better not give this a good score"

Seriously, what did you expect? For them to bust out a klezmer style jazz midway through the album?

mattramone (July 31, 2012)

Easily one of the best albums last year. Jesse Thorson wears their shirt every day.

MN_DrNick (July 31, 2012)

This was the best Midwest punk album from last year. Hell, even better than Banner Pilot and I love that band.

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