Haley Bowery & The Manimals - 'Born Strange' (Sick and Pretty Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 04:00

haleyboweryThere were just so many things jumping out of this album's cover and press release that there was just no way I was going to be able to ignore it.


For starters there was the rock 'n' roll vixen in torn nylons re-applying her lipstick in a nameless, faceless ladies room somewhere adorning the album cover, then there was the name of this future crush's backing band - The Manimals: if you're named after both a trashy television show and song from the '80s then I'm interested. And the promise of post-glam/power pop from NYC? Too much to resist...

....and that's before I even got to the photograph of Haley Bowery herself featured on the press sheet, resplendent in ripped fishnets and hot pants, a fuck-off ray gun held in her icy grip - this shit had better be good, right?!


Thankfully, it is. Really good, in fact.


'Born Strange' is Bowery's full-length debut, following on from her cherry-popping 2011 EP, 'Side of the Hill', and it starts well: the title track sleazes itself out of the speakers with a sound that is halfway between classic Blondie and Brijitte West. Songs like 'Jukebox Dive' and 'Twelve Secrets' will certainly strike a chord (or three) with fans of Ms. West, the chorus of 'Halloween' sounding like it fell right off her self-titled album from 2010.


There's a camp, theatrical element to it all too, in a cool Semi Precious Weapons/We Are The Fury way it must be noted. There's mention of "Gwen Stefani hanging out with the New York Dolls" in the press but while that's not quite on the money it certainly gives the curious onlooker a guideline, the fusion of female voice and glitter, gutter punk.


'All Lies' adds an '80s keyboard part to the retro feel of the record, dragging it up a decade. The main influences on this record date back to the '70s however, a cleaner take on Patti Smith here, a sweaty homage to an unforgettable CBGBs show there.


'Born Strange' may be a little soft for hardcore glunkers, but for those clawing at every throwback to a cooler musical time this album is well worth dipping a skull-ringed finger into.




To pick up your copy of 'Born Strange' - CLICK HERE