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MNNQNS - 'Body Negative' Album Review


1. Body Negative

2. NotWhatYouThoughtYouKnew

3. She’s Waiting For The Day

4. Double Visions

5. Different Sides of Truth

6. Limits of Town

7. Urinals

8. Desperation Moon

9. Drinking From The Pond

10. Fall Down

11. Stagnant Pools

12. Wire (Down To The)

October 11th sees the release of “Body Negative”, the debut album by MNNQNS (pronounced ‘Mannequins’ in case you were wondering). The band, which was formed in Rouen and comprises frontman Adrian D’Epinay, Gregoire Mainot (drums), Félix Ramaën (bass) and Marc Lebreuilly (guitar), describe themselves as ‘a Rock band that hates Rock ‘n’ Roll’ [insert Bryan Adams joke here!].

The album opens with “Body Negative”, fifteen seconds of noise which first alerts you to the non-rockness to follow (well, they did tell us they hated Rock ‘n’ Roll!) and then we’re into “NotWhatYouThoughtYouKnew” and the start of a unique but brilliantly nostalgic sound that flows through the album with songs like “Fall Down”, “She’s Waiting For The Day”, “Wire (Down To The) and “Double Visions”…and then there’s “Different Sides Of Truth” which just stops you dead in your tracks…this is so eerily Clash like (especially in the chorus) you can’t help the shiver that runs up your spine. “Urinals” provides a stark contrast to what’s gone before…it has the raw energy of Punk mixed with Electronica and sounds odd but strangely exciting at the same time while “Stagnant Pools” is one of those really annoying songs that has its own identity but also has little moments that make you go ‘Oh that’s so like…’ and then you can’t quite put your finger on it. So much so in fact, that I am fully resigned to waking up at regular intervals for the rest of the week with the answer tantalisingly just out of reach.

The highlight of the album, for me, is “Desperation Moon” which has a blend of Punk and Pop (especially that chorus) that just shouts ‘SINGLE! I MUST BE A SINGLE! RELEASE ME AS A SINGLE! DO IT!!’ and is just so deserving of airplay it’s ridiculous; it is honestly the closest to perfection that you can get in two minutes and twenty eight seconds. “Drinking From The Pond” must get an honourable mention too…this feels pretty much single ready too apart from the fact the last three minutes and twelve seconds is instrumental, with plinky sounding guitars (OK OK so I couldn’t be bothered to look up the technical term for the effect) and some lushly stereo panning electronic noise to finish off with.

This is an album that you really don’t expect; a band with a sound that’s far removed from a standard Rock sound. Throughout the album there’s a glorious late 70’s Punk feel, especially on the vocal production. And, like the best of the Punk bands from that era, there’s a feeling of freedom to the music, a sense of exploring the sound as well as the bands’ limits. MNNQNS mix the energy of Punk with the quirkiness of electronic music and then for good measure wrap it all up with great Pop sensibilities to produce what is an eclectic but ultimately loveable album.

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Review - Chris Watson

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