Marilyn Manson, the king of controversy shifts gears more than any artist in his field. He is able to blend like the chameleon, able to hide behind the veil of genre and create true masterpieces of stylish artwork. Manson is a true genius behind his craft and his step into Glam/Industrial Rock, Mechanical Animals was the first real true musical love that I faced, the teeth being sheathed behind a pale grin; the beautiful instrumental pieces that would draw me in and make Marilyn Manson a household name for myself. Mechanical Animals is the first album that I truly felt wrapped inside and totally immersed within.
From the Antichrist Superstar, to the strange outer-space being simply named Omēga (Oh Me Ga), Manson adapts to an entirely new persona and with it comes a new style of being. Mechanical Animals opens with “Great Big White World”, a disassociated and dislocated track that follows the outsider who looks into the society with wide eyes. The guitar that suddenly plucks in seemingly iconic with the album as it sets the first, strange turn that Manson took with the production of the album. Taking in everything he can, the protagonist that “Great Big White World” shadows is one that does not truly understand the surroundings; Manson explains, “I’m not attached to your world, nothing heals and nothing grows. Because it’s a great big white world, and we are drained of our colors. We used to love ourselves, we used to love one another”. There are moments of real beauty behind Manson and the band that plays behind him, from the synths that are the heavy focus of most of the tracks, to the riffs of the bass and guitars that create ringing harmonies of glam glory.
While Marilyn Manson took a much different sound with Mechanical Animals, he still does feature some of the grinding industrial style that was present on Antichrist Superstar, with “Rock Is Dead”, Manson takes the shrieking guitars and pounding percussion to a new level as he shouts “Rock is deader than dead, shock is all in your head. Your sex and your dope is al that were fed, so fuck all your protests and put them to bed…Anything to belong.” It is the first track that takes a more up-beat clash of cymbals and noise that crash like waves and then suddenly fall into “Disassociative”, a track that entirely switches the style of sound once again and becomes a confessional piece behind an exaggerative and dramatic reading of slowed instrumentals, along with Manson describing, “I can never get out of here, I don’t wanna just float in fear, a dead astronaut in space.” Manson’s lyrical styling on Mechanical Animals is much less shocking, but feels as impactful for the way that it captures the total feeling of isolation. The feeling of being an outsider and never being able to fully understand the society around his character is unbelievably relatable, and when paired with the downright magnificent sounds that come from Manson’s backing band is just incredible. It feels like a movie that is being played with the vast world of imagery and dialogue that Manson delivers with each following track.
With the large commercial hit, “I Don’t Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me)”, Manson adopts a nice funk groove that plays behind his 1970’s love letter to David Bowie’s Young Americans, Manson becomes a stumbling mess as he describes, “There’s a hole in out soul that we fill with dope and we’re feeling fine”, with a chorus of soul style singers behind him that repeat, “Don’t like the drugs, the drugs, the drugs”. This then floods into “New Model No. 15 where Manson takes to chanting and becoming more straight-forward as the synths play a catchy little riff before letting Manson describe, “Like-life and pose-able, hopeless and disposable, I’m the new, I’m the new, new model, I’ve got nothing inside.” Manson begins to move faster as he hits three tracks in rapid succession. Each track becomes a quick transition from “New Model No. 15”, “User Friendly”, and the suddenly slow “Fundamentally Loathsome” where Manson adopts to an Amy Winehouse styled crawl where the final act begins to show its head.
Mechanical Animals creeps toward the close like a slithering snake full of passion, “Fundamentally Loathsome” becomes one of the most impactful and memorable tracks off the record for the way that the instrumental production just shines as a beacon amidst the darkness that clouds Manson’s discography. This can also be said about the closer, “Coma White” which was not only a huge success for Manson, but it also a wonderful closer that captures the spirit and style of Mechanical Animals with a sullen, almost sunken track that is nearly bleak behind the beauty. Manson describes, “You were from a perfect world, a world that threw me away… A pill to make you numb, a pill to make you dumb, a pill to make you anybody else”. The feedback from the instruments then drowns the noise and becomes a silent journey into the AIDS of Space.
Resonating within the social commentary of Manson’s drug-filled peers and even a mirroring opinion on himself, Mechanical Animals becomes a still-relevant discussion today through the topic of fame, narcotics, and how people are perceived. He is a diverse character that can create new worlds from his pen; as one chapter closes, yet another opens.
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Marilyn Manson is a controversial figure in Rock n’ Roll’s long, but distorted history. There is no one sound for rock music anymore, the lines are blurred and scattered; Marilyn Manson is an artist that entirely destroyed genre through his career and managed to create an incredible amount of attention for his second studio release, Antichrist Superstar. The harsh lyrics, brash imagery, and no compassion for the audience left Manson in a continual spotlight for his intelligence, bravery, and fear of none.
With an album titled Antichrist Superstar, some sort of hellish imagery has to flash in the mind of the reader, the cover art which features a heavily disturbed imaged of scabbed wings, distortion around the face and eyes, and the words, “Heart”, “Mind”, “Complacent”, and “Malice” in a four-part directional map for the album. Manson begins this masterpiece with “Irresponsible Hate Anthem”, a track that is by no means as shocking as it was when it was released in 1996; but the stings of the blitzing guitar and smashing percussion that is accompanied by a somehow charismatic lyricist that shouts and yells his approach directly into the microphone. His lyrics as stated before, are simply brash and animalistic, Manson sees the American public as a target for his musical bullet and without warning dives into discussing homicide, death, rape, and society in a quick daze of poetry. His chorus describes, “Everybody’s someone else’s nigger, I know you are, so am I. I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers; I don’t need to choose a side”. In a display of what can only be described as a fireworks display of chaos, Manson wastes no time moving into the following track, a grinding example of how productive talent can create a catchy, but sadistic cut.
“The Beautiful People” takes a similar approach as it moves between the consistent yelling of Manson, and the odd, but smile-inducing chorus that plays behind him. The twisted imagery that the iconic drum beat and the awe-inspiring bass riffs that still to this day play over and over again on stereos everywhere as an Industrial Rock anthem. Manson paved a way with his style that many artists would try to follow, but have a troubling time being as cutting edge and as sharp as Manson. It is apparent throughout all of Antichrist Superstar, but it is especially true on how he can take the production from Trent Reznor, and shift it into something completely unforgettable as both a piece of music history, and as a piece of controversial shaping of society.
It is on the later track, “Kinderfeld” where Manson reveals another side as he takes a slower approach, but still keeps the same stabbing style of his earlier tracks. It is explained through the chorus that Manson’s main character in the storyline of Antichrist Superstar that there is a serious transformation happening, “Then I got my wings, and I never even knew it. When I was a worm, thought I couldn’t get through it”. As the main character is pictured in this helpless villain, to a now sprouting animal of malicious intent, The track eventually becomes a chanting display of “This is what you should fear, you are what you should fear”. Which, then transfers Manson into the self-titled track, “Antichrist Superstar”, a deviously exciting ride of political-esque chants that reign into the chorus and verses of, “Prick your finger, it is done. The moon has now eclipsed the sun, Angel has spread its wings, the time has come for bitter things. Repent, that’s what I’m talking about, I shed the skin to feed the fake. Repent, that’s what I’m talking about, whose mistake am I anyway?”. Behind this hydra of sound, comes the operatic chorus that plays throughout the track and shines on the final moments where a robotic vocalist repeats in multiple voices, “When you are suffering, know that I have betrayed you”.
In a final moment of retribution, Marilyn Manson takes Antichrist Superstar into a moment of peace with “Man That You Fear”, a slowed, deep cut that closes off the pages of the story of the Worm, the Angel Re-born, the character that Manson portrays so well. It is a social commentary on society and while Manson is a musical legend that has made a career in the shocking; he can also be quite beautiful and impactful as well.
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ART BY: Yung Mulatto // Listen Here – Soundcloud
A door is a moving mechanism used to block off, and allow access to, an entrance to or within an enclosed space, such as a building, room or vehicle. Doors normally consist of one or two solid panels, with or without windows, that swing on hinges horizontally. These hinges are attached to the door’s edge but there are also doors that slide, fold or spin. The main purpose of a door is to control physical access.
When open, doors admit people, animals, ventilation or light. The door is used to control the physical atmosphere within a space by enclosing the air drafts, so that interiors may be more effectively heated or cooled. When closed, a door normally impedes the transfer of air from one side to the other. Similar structures that do allow air to be transferred through some form of a grillwork are called gates.
Doors may have an aesthetic purpose in creating an impression of what lies beyond; for example, keeping administrative and factory areas of a building separate. In less formal settings, doors may also be seen as a sign of the desire for privacy. As a form of courtesy and civility, people often knock before opening a door and entering a room.
Doors are often symbolically endowed with ritualistic purposes. For example, being granted access to a door, including the guarding or receiving of the keyto that door, may have special significance. Similarly, doors and doorways frequently appear in literature and the arts in metaphorical or allegoricalcontext, often as a portent of change.
In most cases the interior side of a door matches its exterior side but, in some other cases, there are sharp contrasts between the two sides, such as in the case of a vehicle door.
The Single Mothers are a collective from Ontario, a quant little place filled with more hate than ever with their 2014 release, Negative Qualities. Like a fire-cracker from Hell; Single Mothers come in swinging in full fury on a ten-track, twenty-three-minute dive into the the nastiest parts of punk rock.
From the first seconds of blitzing guitar on “Overdose”, Negative Qualities hits like a ton of bricks, launching from first-gear into fifth without warning. Single Mothers are the very definition of punk rock freedom and animalistic ability flooding directly into expression. The drums from Brandon Jagersky are airborne weapons that conflict with the aggressive string sections of Evan Redsky on bass and Mike Peterson on guitar, then layering the screaming vocals from Drew Thomson over the entire mess of sound makes for a recipe of pure destructive entertainment. Single Mothers will carry no bars on their music, blasting the glass ceiling above them in a frantic crash-and-grab. Even the transitions are angry as “Overdose” floods into “Marbles”, a track that displays the raw, emotional detachment from the surroundings. Thomson describes over an aching bass and percussion combination, “I don’t care about your first editions, I don’t care about your typewriter ribbon; I don’t care about your punctuation, puncture wounds you’ve been trying to inflict me with”. Single Mothers makes the outsider become the focus, making the journey feel brash, but realistic and incredibly catchy.
While catchy may not be a word that is frequent in punk music, it does have a place with Single Mothers as they move on to the track “Feel Shame”, a rather instrumental focused narrative that follows a much slower styled tempo with a chorus that continues to echo even as they move into the bridge and final moments. The guitar and percussion take the main focus however as they make for a Wild-Western sounding picture book of heavy drum fills and a reverbed string section that floats above the layers that “Feel Shame” happily produces. The track is a nice step away from the constant screaming, trading the frontlines for the back in an order to create a solid mix of sound on Negative Qualities. Single Mothers is the hidden gem of punk, they shake quickly on the sudden bass drum hits of “Crooks”; creating a sense of confusion once again with the abrasive yells and instruments.
The guitars begin to fold in over themselves and make for a gas-fueled explosion of punk rock, the drums are fast and merciless, the break down is just a rephrase of the constant straight-minute assault. Single Mothers waste no time moving between tracks and creating fire from the finger tips with each passing moment. From the anthems of “Ketamine” where Single Mothers write continual choruses that love to be repeated, or to the final instance of “Money” where the track becomes an instant rock classic that dares to be a hybrid of genre.
In any instance, Single Mothers are a wrecking crew that steals your heart away, pulls you closer with each track, and lights a fire in the blaze of glory that they create. Negative Qualities is by no means a perfect album, but it is pretty damn close.