Witches With Dicks Manual

"Pop punk” has been getting a bad rap as of late. With Good Charlotte and Simple Plan all over the radio in recent years it’s easy to forget about bands like Screeching Weasel, the Queers or the Descendents. Witches With Dicks (either the best or worst named band in music) manage to channel all of the aforementioned acts and come up with something all their own. Falling somewhere between Pinhead Gunpowder and Dillinger Four, they mix high-energy guitars with gruff/yelled vocals that manage to carry some melody. The band use their somewhat sloppy style of playing as an asset; it feels like they could fall apart at any moment but they never do and it makes for a better listening experience. One high point of this incredibly short album (ten songs in just over 19 minutes) is the use of organ on "Die Painfully,” which brings to mind Fat Wreck Chords-era Screeching Weasel. If there’s anything that hinders Manual, it’s the underproduction. Sometimes it works, causing the recording to sound more real and immediate, but at other times aspects of the music get buried beneath a wall of noise that takes away from the music. (Kiss of Death)