Welcome to MAGNET’s second Hot New Band Alert of 2009. (Back in January, we totally called it with the now-celebrated Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.) Only problem is that Chicago’s Mannequin Men aren’t all that new. But we’re pretty sure their third album is gonna save us all. Actually, Lose Your Illusion, Too (coming June 9 on Flameshovel) isn’t going to save anything, unless you count your rock ‘n’ roll heart, your sense of humor or, from the sound of things, their lives. Maybe that’s why the Replacements show up in the band’s write-ups lately—it’s not so much how the band sounds; it’s how the sound makes you feel: young, fearless, like anything’s possible and a lot of shit is funny and painful, too. Maybe it’s the way you felt when you first heard Nirvana, Television Personalities or Hootenanny. Alternating admirably between jangle and screech, Mannequin Men didn’t make Illusion to dissect anything, either. Art schooler, hockey player and record-store geek with at least six side projects, frontman Kevin Richard is on fire as he leads the band’s stampede through 14 loud, drunken gems. It all adds up to an impeccable mix of snarling punk attitude, humor and vulnerability. Even in the whimper of an angst-filled treatise, you can hear the joy.
“Massage” from Lose Your Illusion, Too:
“The Boys” From 2007’s Fresh Rot (download):