Die Mannequin Fino + Bleed

Die Mannequin Fino + Bleed
With their first two EPs (How To Kill and Slaughter Daughter), Die Mannequin were dangerous, their sound a modestly innovative take on radio-friendly rock tunes amped up by singer Care Failure's raspy vocals and driving, booming rhythms. The end result was tunes that pushed towards heavy music and aggression without forgetting the need for great hooks. The same can be said for exactly half of debut full-length Fino + Bleed. Unfortunately, the need for more than a half-dozen tunes means Die Mannequin has to produce twice that amount in the same time it took for Fino + Bleed's predecessors. They struggle at the task. When getting down to brass tacks, they can blast out a streamlined shot of aggro rock that would happily adhere to the grey matter of any self-respecting music fan. The rest of the disc, however, is a muddle of haphazardly trying to be progressive and catchy at the same time, resulting in duds that incite nothing but confusion. However, if the band didn't explore, they wouldn't grow. Therefore, Fino + Bleed is a testament to trying hard; it's an effort that yields bisected results: the typical, expected radio fodder and tentative, forgettable steps into new territory. One day, they'll figure out how to unite the two. (Warner)