While Australia’s premiere punk darlings The Scientists have enjoyed some much deserved reissue treatment from Numero in the last couple of years, another of the country’s punk forefathers has remained criminally undersung. Manufactured Recordings attempts to right this with an anthology of all known tracks from Manikins. The band, like The Scientists, was built from a former member of Aussie punk germinators The Cheap Nasties. Neil Fernandes built up his own orbit of tough-edged power pop, though the band would spawn considerably less material than their more well-known compatriots.
The anthology includes their first three 7″s, which have become power pop collector’s items in their own right, stretching into high dollar brackets on the secondary market. For those with shallower pockets, it’s nice to have these tracks included here and all dusted off for digital. Fernandes’ songs hit just right in the crux of punk and garage, though they certainly get a bit more polished on later cuts. He’s ably found a foil in vocalist Robert Porritt, who gives Manikins a boyish sneer that’s prerequisite for the best power pop. All in all, this is for the diggers, the nerd set. It’s the kind of deep cut release that appeals to genre completists, but that’s not to say that the average ’70s mixtape couldn’t stand a bump from any of these gems. Any fan of Aussie punk history or power pop in general would do well to tuck into this one.
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