[24 October 2007]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
Led by 21-year-old firecracker Care Failure, Toronto’s Die Mannequin has been the beneficiary of some tremendous major label hype in Canada, landing trendy electro producers MSTRKRFT for the debut How to Kill EP, not to mention some plum tours, opening for the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Deftones, and Sum 41. With the follow-up EP Slaughter Daughter, Failure and her ferocious power trio tighten the screws considerably, which for all its bluntness, brings the rock like few ladies have done this year. Single “Do it or Die” is a scorcher, Failure spitting lines and spewing riffs that ought to embarrass the slickly-produced Donnas, the song launching into a dance-fueled breakdown midway through. Equally contagious, and following the lead of the MSTRKRFT-helmed “Autumn Cannibalist”, “Saved by Strangers” doesn’t really say much (“I need it, I need it, I need it,” etc., etc.), but with its sampled rhythmic breaths, the song locks itself into one hell of a wicked groove. “Lonely of a Woman” is a straightforward chugger in the vein of fellow Canadian Danko Jones, but less effective are the melodramatic “Upside Down Cross” and the live recording of “Open Season”. Three out of five is pretty damn good, though, and the way her songwriting is progressing, Failure will soon be known by name, and not by nature.