Album Review: Melbourne power duo, Mannequin Death Squad release sizzling debut long player, Super Mental Psycho.

Mannequin Death Squad have finally released their debut album after a string of blistering singles (all of which appear on the album) being released over the past few years in the run-up to the long-awaited release of this gem of a long-player.

The album was recorded over that time at a number of different studios, including some tracking at the band’s home during the Covid pandemic.

The majority of it, however, was recorded at Thirty Mill Studios with Colin Wynne in Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia. Following a chance meeting, the band had also worked with legendary Australian producer, Mark Opitz (The Angels, Divinyls, Australian Crawl and Cold Chisel amongst others) who produced tracks, San Fran, Addicted to You and One Way Ticket on the album.

According to the band “The songs on Super Mental Psycho represent the first chapter of our musical life, with some songs having been written in our teen years. We are very excited to have it finally released, and are looking forward to working on and releasing the next one very soon“.

I have pored over how to write this review without just seeming like a fan-boy going “wow this is great!!” but I quite literally believe that to be true.

The album begins with a short 40 second intro before exploding out of the blocks with the angst-filled band favourite, San Fran, a fitting start to an album that doesn’t get out of top gear, and simply races along at a frenetic pace. Songs such as Blue rip along with its’ skater-punk attitude (and cool video) before the fury of Honey Punch and title track, Super Mental Psycho deliver what might be knockout punches…..however this album continues to deliver in spades, with the grungy Cherry taking its’ turn before punk love-song, Addicted To You leads you into one of the heavier moments on the album, the somewhat ominous Nightmare. Further tracks, Seventeen, One Way Ticket, Nobody Gets Me and Brighton round out the album in style.

The band have crafted a signature style that makes one wonder at how two people can create such an immense sound and stage presence (see my live review & gallery here). Without sounding entirely derivative, every Mannequin Death Squad song has elements of music that both members have either grown up with, or been influenced by.

Our influences are a bit of mix between the two of us. Elly grew up listening to a lot of 90s grunge including bands like Verruca Salt, Hole and Magic Dirt. Dan grew up more of a metal head listening to the likes of Megadeth, System of a Down, Mastodon and others. We both have an appreciation for all of the above and so many more in the rock world, as well as a love for all genres“.

Super Mental Psycho was released September 28, 2022 and is currently available for digital download via the band’s Bandcamp page, with physical copies available for preorder on CD and vinyl (and is expected for delivery in December due to supply chain difficulties).

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