Show Review: Die Mannequin @ Sound Academy

“A Diva is a Female Version

of an Asshole”

Die Mannequin at the Sound Academy

Dec 12 2009

Tonight, what is usually The Sound Academy’s merch booth is the stage hosting Toronto’s dirtiest female-lead rock band, Die Mannequin.  The venue has been split in half, giving fans a wider stage area and a more intimate setting than they’re used to here. Three local acts; Raggedy Angry, Songs from a Room, and Outspoken, start the night off, each only playing for about half an hour.  All things considered, this show belongs at the Reverb or even the Opera House.  However, I digress.
Unceremoniously, Care Failure (vocals, guitar), Anthony “Useless” Bleed (bass), Dazzer Scott (drums) and Stacy Stray (guitar) stumble on stage to NIN-esque lighting and ambient noise.  Care mimes being riddled with bullets as gunshots ring out from the speakers.  This could have been an epic opening if they didn’t stop awkwardly so Care could introduce their first song, ‘The Other Tiffany’.  ‘Miss Americunt’ from their new album Fino + Bleed, follows.  This song was apparently Care’s experiment to see how many times she could say “cunt” on a major record release.  She encourages the audience to count the “cunts” while she sings, claiming that if she doesn’t say it at least nine times we can spit on her…or something.  It’s a little hard to follow her hazy train of thought.
Channeling Brody Dalle, all we can really see of Care is garish red lips sneering from behind a curtain of black hair. We’re the last stop on their tour and she is sick and noticeably losing her voice.  This is compounded by her chaotic vocal style and the poor sound system quality, often making it difficult to decipher what she’s saying or singing.  However, illness and fatigue don’t stop her from crowd surfing, climbing the speaker racks or rocking so hard that she breaks her guitar.
The only time we’re really able to hear Care clearly is during the newest single ‘Bad Medicine’ on which she rocks a megaphone. Their debut hit single ‘Do it or Die’ from Slaughter Daughter is also well received by the crowd.  Surprisingly, for a band who hasn’t yet fully established themselves, they don’t perform their second single, ‘Saved By Strangers’ which has gotten a lot of radio play.  During ‘Autumn Cannibalist’ a slew of teenaged fans are invited on stage for a “dance party”.  It’s a cool idea; even though the band seems irritated when the kids get too close to their guitar pedals or take pictures of them while they’re performing.
The night is finished off with a cover of Turbonegro’s ‘Don’t Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker’ and ‘Fatherpunk’ from Unicorn Steak.  Showing their Torontonian roots, they dedicate the latter to the late DJ Martin Streak, who’s passing earlier this year left a huge hole in the heart of rock radio.
Instead of doing an encore, the last song is turned into an extended jam session that ends with Care being physically carried off stage.  Though I assume this is just an act, it’s a nice touch, adding to Care’s wild-girl image.  I just hope that she doesn’t self-destruct before Die Mannequin reaches their full potential.
(Original publication: Bring Back the Boom Box Magazine- Jan 8 2010)


About J2

What happens when you're a wordsy music aficionado who works for NXNE, CMW, HPX, Olio Music Festival, The JUNOs and Polaris Music Prize? You spend all of your free time blogging about it... Follow on Twitter if you're so inclined: @HearPlugged

Posted on February 25, 2011, in Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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