Thee Manipulators Ease Up On The Breakdowns

How Vancouver, BC ever earned the unfortunate nickname "No Fun City" is beyond me. Yet I've only come to this conclusion after spinning Ease Up On the Breakdowns, the debut full-length from Thee Manipulators. Their punchy, enduring garage punk may be a throwback of sorts, but that doesn't mean these guys don't know how to have a good time. In fact, tracks like "(It's Gonna Be) Alright" have the raging capacity to bring a smile to those nasty cops that break up the kind of house shows that bring the neighbourhood down. Fulfilling choruses complement the trimmed-down tracks that pack a wallop in a short amount of time. If those cops won't crack a smile, the opening rumble of "Minor League Fame" might render them incapacitated anyway. Yes, Ease Up On The Breakdowns is full of silver linings and outright sonic redemption, but the only drawback might be the lack of attempts to bridge out from their Sonics-esque aesthetic, but that's a matter of opinion. Never does Ease Up On The Breakdowns lose any steam, from the prolific stomp and twist of "(Shake Your) Death Rattle" to grooved-up album closer "Crucifixated." Best to just grab onto this one and hold tight. (Neptoon)