Manipulation, “Manipulation 2” 7-inch

Manipulation 2
(Sorry State)

My favorite thing about this 7-inch from Manipulation is the way they work in contrasts. Manipulation ramp up heading into the breakdowns, and that’s saying something, of course, given the frenetic pace at which the band is already moving. Still, it seems the band punches up the energy level just a bit more, making the breakdowns’ slower pace seem that more intense in their sonic attack.

The tracks where bassist Annie’s back-up vocals come through more clearly are the real standouts. Simply put, the higher pitch of her razor-throated vocals counterpoint Jordan’s gravelly snarl, making tracks like “Silence” and “Under the Influence” into twisted tales of anger. However, it’s the last track on Manipulation 2, “Deathwatch,” that really demonstrates the powerful attack of which this Chicago act is capable. It flies along, only to drop tempo and chug into this molasses-speed breakdown that makes you want to punch the nearest object.