NYC post-glam/powerpop band Haley Bowery & the Manimals stands out in the oversaturated rock scene with their deeply felt, personal lyrics, memorable hooks, and unforgettable live show. Haley's voice is authentic and expressive, electric with raw emotionality, begging comparison to Chrissie Hynde and Joan Jett. A vision in false eyelashes and high heels, she is one part girly-girl and two parts Brooklyn badass, a punk rock spirit indelibly shaped by the great writers of folk and American standards. On a dime she can channel Courtney Love at her most aggressive or Regina Spektor at her most intimate, but her love of language is always unmistakable. Among her influences, she counts Liz Phair, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, The Pretenders, No Doubt, Blondie and The Breeders.
Haley released her debut EP, Side of the Hill, in March 2011. Following the release, she toured North America for two months with singer-songwriter Matthew Pop, playing her songs solo and acoustic. She is now back in New York, performing with her band, The Manimals- and is starting to get noticed for her ferocious stage presence and the explosive, wild live experience she shares with her audience at every show. At a Haley Bowery & the Manimals show, you can expect costume changes, whiskey swilling, profanity-laden crowd baiting, and a serious throwback to the energy and thrill of 70s-era CBGBs. The band recently completed recording their first full-length album, Born Strange, at The Brewery Recording Studio in Brooklyn. As of June 19, 2012, it is available on iTunes, CDBaby, Bandcamp, and so on!
Haley Bowery - Vocals
Patrick Deeney - Guitar
Joseph Wallace - Bass
Attis Clopton - Drums
Debut LP, "Born Strange", June 2012
Single, "All Lies", May 2012
Single, "29", April 2012
EP, "Side of the Hill", Feb. 2011
RUST Radar: Haley Bowery, "Born Strange"
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"Born Strange" the debut full-length album from Haley Bowery & the Manimals comes on strong with a n..."Born Strange" the debut full-length album from Haley Bowery & the Manimals comes on strong with a new-retro-glam-punk sound and double stacked with kilowatts of energy. RUST just got our hands on an advance copy and it's really a well-produced, well-performed overall project built around Haley Bowery's signature vocal and songwriting talent. Just breaking out, Bowery is about to get the obligatory comparisons to Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett and Debbie Harry but those "sounds like" analogies never do justice to performers like her that really have their own original strong sound. It also doesn't properly consider the team effort including Patrick Deeney, Joseph Wallace, Attis Clopton and Matthew Pop. Produced by Andrew Krivonos with the Manimals at The Brewery Recording Studio and mastered by Kevin Carafa at APS Engineering, the whole album sounds like a remaster of a lost jam session from the analog era.
What "Born Strange" delivers is a new take on that classic FM sound when straight rock-and-roll went from the studio to the stage with a minimum of production and a maximum of raw emotion. With an abundance of over-the-top performance energy, Haley Bowery doesn't just emerge on the scene here, she takes it over! Save your pennies, "Born Strange" will be available soon, and if you're in the NYC area, you gotta catch her on the stage. This album is going to resound with audiences thirsty for musicians willing to put their performance ahead of production. It's raw, one-on-one music that's so good it makes you wonder... where have the bands like this been for the last 30 years?
Doing Shots with Haley and Hannah
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Saturday night at Webster Hall, singer Haley Bowery waited about half an hour into her show before s...Saturday night at Webster Hall, singer Haley Bowery waited about half an hour into her show before she reached behind the sound monitor and pulled out the gun. Before the song started, she’d lured several people in the crowd to the edge of the stage with the promise of whiskey. She pumped the rifle, then held it steady in her right hand, taking aim at a guy in the front row. As his jaw dropped, she fired at him.
If he’d been as steady on his feet as her aim was – Keith Richards’ right hand has nothing on Haley Bowery’s – he would have gotten a generous mouthful of hooch. It wasn’t bottom shelf, either: whatever she’d filled that big black heavy-duty squirt gun with, it was decent whiskey. As the band stomped behind her, she moved on to the next person, and then the next. A couple of them came back for seconds and she took her time with them: at least a couple of people left the show with a free buzz. But that’s not the only reason why it’s impossible not to like Haley Bowery.
Her songs imagine a CBGB of the mind, but not from the punk rock era. Instead, her glam-infused four-on-the-floor rock has a little bit of Bowie, the Dolls, maybe T-Rex but through the prism of cynical 80s New York powerpop, with all the accoutrements: the leather boots, the torn fishnets, the booze, the defiant pose and maybe other stuff. It’s a lifestyle, and she seems hell-bent on putting across the fact that she’s living it – and maybe building a tribe of fellow troublemakers who also consider themselves born strange (which is the title of the album whose release she was celebrating). Her band the Manimals is tight and unexpectedly diverse: solid Attis Jerrell Clopton on drums, surprisingly eclectic Patrick Deeney on guitar and Joseph Wallace (who also plays in the excellent Wallace on Fire) on bass, with Matthew Pop guesting on keys on a couple of numbers. She didn’t waste time getting to the point: “Fuck the rest of ‘em, let’s paaaarty,” she ordered the crowd the end of Halloween, a lurching anthem that with a little youtubing could be the theme for next year’s freshman class and many afterward. Some of her songs turned out to be unexpectedly bittersweet, like 29, a wistful ballad pondering how to stay young when you’re staring down the wrong side of 30. A little later she turned to the bitterness and anger of Blitzed, a kiss-off song whose protagonist “Tried to find my bliss, and I got blitzed”- and then “If you need me, boy that ship has sailed.” And Undertow (the backdrop for the booze and the squirt gun) implored everyone to “Drink your whiskey up for the people who never thought you’d be more than a zero.” Revenge is sweet.
Opening act Hannah vs. the Many took that theme further. With a ferocious, spun-steel wail, charismatic frontwoman/guitarist Hannah Fairchild poured out torrents of double entendres and embittered imagery over catchy melodies that ranged from roaring punk-pop to hauntingly ornate, slower, artsier ballads. Her four-piece band didn’t have a bass player this time out, but that didn’t phase them, lead guitarist Josh Fox raising the songs’ searing ambience with long, echoing, slowly twisting sustained notes drenched in cold reverb. Fairchild projects a warmth and nonchalance in contrast with her songs’ raging angst: she reflected on how nice she felt the audience was, but then she related how when she’d just arrived here from her native Minnesota, people had said the same thing about her. “So I called up my girl friend and told her that, and she just laughed. I’m Minnesota mean!”
But her songs aren’t so mean as they’re just plain anguished: they’re anthems for a new generation of smart, alienated kids. The best one of the entire night, and the quietest one, was Jordan Baker, a torchy, sadly bouncing chamber-pop song that Jarvis Cocker would be proud to have written, and it was there that the audience split up: the front row bobbing their heads in unison, completely lost in Fairchild’s tale of infatuation despite know
New Music: Haley Bowery and the Manimals – Born Strange
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There’s the very distinct idea of a “New York band”: scrappy, distorted guitars hailing from the sam...There’s the very distinct idea of a “New York band”: scrappy, distorted guitars hailing from the same town that once hosted CBGBs, the subtle Broadway glitz that’s drifted across the city, a comfortable knowledge of rock’s past, and a don’t-fuck-with-me attitude. That said, Haley Bowery and the Manimals are definitely a New York band, as their debut album Born Strange exudes confidence, hooks, and smarts.
Born Strange roars to life with it’s mission statement of a title track with frontwoman Haley Bowery snarling over a ferocious, Joan Jett style riff. It’s a fiery number with a half-time chorus that keeps things interesting and shows how tight the Manimals are as a band. “Blitzed” has some pop leanings–preppy drum beat, shamelessly major key guitar fills and chord progression, and backing “Ohhh oh whoa oh”s on the chorus–but never loses any muscle. It strikes a solid balance between pretty and pounding, especially thanks to Bowery’s lyrics and a capable solo. Unfortunately, the band’s tendency to go all or nothing comes up short on “29?, a nice enough song that’s just a little too earnest for its own good.
The real meat of Born Strange comes from a trio of songs in its middle. “Undertow” gets closer to balladry than “29? ever did, but the martial drumbeat and the song’s slow build keep it interesting. R&B-y “Lobotomy” is built around a double bass riff that works surprisingly well with the normally crunchy guitars and some keyboard work during the chorus. Rounding out this section is the more forward “Jukebox Dive”, an up and down rock band work out that’s all rise and fall/stop-start dynamics with one hell of a final chorus.
The real strength of the middle section of this album is how well Bowery and the band work with each other. The band has some different but accessible arrangements (“Lobotomy” in particular) that still hit hard and feel just familiar enough to be inviting, while giving Bowery plenty of room to breathe. And she puts it to good use; Bowery’s loaded with charisma, and the pipes to go with it. Combine a powerful voice like hers with whip-smart lyrics and a surprising amount of nuance, and you’ve got one hell of a package.
Born Strange goes out swinging with its last few songs. “Twelve Secrets” would make for a fine single, and “Halloween” works its numerous twists and turns feel free and fun as opposed to stiff and forced. “Dream of the Chelsea Hotel” acts best as a stop-gap between “Halloween” and massive closer “All Lies”, but has an angular arrangement that makes it stand out, not to mention an acid-spitting take by Bowery. “All Lies” goes for the Big Finishing Number; a minute longer than anything else on Born Strange, narrative lyrics about an ex-lover’s new thing, a grand chorus, and a closing guitar solo.
Born Strange is a rock fan’s record, both as a listener, and I assume as an artist. The album drops plenty of references to New York and New York music, and just the way it’s structured feels very traditionalist: opening with a one-two jump start, pushing itself to new areas in the middle, and then ending on a big, concert-closing finish. Play it all summer long, and play it loud.
Check out Haley Bowery and the Manimals on Facebook, and listen to/buy Born Strange on their BandCamp or iTunes!
Haley Bowery and the Manimals - Born Strange
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Haley Bowery has balls. Not, like, man-balls, but balls as in attitude. On this, her debut album, th...Haley Bowery has balls. Not, like, man-balls, but balls as in attitude. On this, her debut album, the 10 tracks fizz and spit with Haley's Juliette Lewis-esque vocals and buzzing background track.
The combination of Haley's vocal talents and the musicianship of the Manimals remind me of a slightly more lo-fi Juliette and the Licks (as I said earlier), or, if any readers are familiar with the US reality show The Voice, second-placed finalist Juliet Simms' band Automatic Loveletter.
The album is only ten tracks long and yet packs an enormous amount of variety in such a short time. Tracks like "Born Strange" and "Blitzed" come at you in a storm of guitars and fiery lyrics, whereas "Jukebox Dive" shows off Haley's softer side. Either way, this shows off the impressive vocal range of the singer - whether in an upbeat punk song or a slow ballad, her voice provides the perfect complement to the music.
Speaking of the music, the Manimals' backing music is, while nothing mind-bending, absolutely ideal for the kind of music that they are playing. The playing is tight and the composition works very well with Haley's vocals to produce some excellent pieces of pop-punk music. I'd recommend any fans of bands like Juliette and the Licks and Paramore to give this a listen.
"Born Strange" is released on June 19.
Dream of the Chelsea Hotel
Lyra & Will
Retract the Claws
Dead New Yorkers
Side of the Hill
Kindness of Strangers
The Next Thing
There are no upcoming dates at this time.