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‘I was born strange, with a comet’s name, trying to find a way to exist on this place.’  This is the opening statement by vocalist Haley Bowery on the Manimals’ upcoming debut album, ‘Born Strange,’ due June 19th.  Fast-paced rock and roll accompanies seething reckless vocals to produce a modern day glam driven punk style.

Shortly after forming the Manimals in early 2011, Bowery released her homemade EP, ‘Side of the Hill’ and embarked on a Springtime solo tour of the US and Canada (with fellow singer-songwriter Matthew Pop). Together, Haley & The Manimals have been making their rounds of the NYC downtown clubs for the past year.  Haley Bowery is joined by Patrick Deeney (guitar), Joseph Wallace (bass), and Attis Clopton (drums).  The album also features Matthew Pop on keyboards.

The album opens with the unapologetic title track in which Bowery calls forth vibes of Pat Benetar.  “Blitzed” spews with bitterness as Bowery lists reasons to drink away the night.
The album’s single, “29” is a recollection of youth’s daring and freedom.  It’s light yet heartfelt, with just enough sentimentality to make you want to revive those subdued memories.  Bowery rekindles that spark of vitality with, “If I could give you anything, I would give you hope.”  And by song’s end, you’re motivated to make a change.
Continuing as a confidence booster is the alternately harmonic and revving “Undertow.”  Glam rock elements are prominent here, with dramatic vocals and march rhythm drumming.  Dramatic flair presents itself in a more alluring way with the sultry swaying tempos of “Lobotomy.”
“Jukebox Dive” delves into more personal matters of self discovery and the search for stability, while “Twelve Secrets” exudes the power of elation.  Wishing the highs could last much longer, “Halloween” demands that party downers be cast aside, since after all, “I’d love to be only happy.
The album finishes with confessions of uncertainty:  “Are we really where we should be?” and “Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing here.”

Apparently, Bowery is still seeking the right niche.  Meanwhile, she collaborates with the Manimals to chronicle her journey of dreams and disillusionment in dramatic glam rock fashion.

Rating: 3.5/5