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Howzat! Archive - August 17th 2011

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HOUSE OF MANNEQUINS
"If Motley Crue and Nine Inch Nails had a baby, you would be their retarded offspring." That's Jackson Freud's favourite description of Attack of the Mannequins, the band he has with his older brother, Harrison. It's a fair summation of an act that's visually exciting and sonically tough. You could call it industrial glam.

Harrison and Jackson were born to be rock stars. Their dad, James Freud, gave Models their biggest chart success; their mum, Sally, wrote a book about rock 'n' roll life on the road, Thank You, Goodnight (and her sister, Jane Clifton, was in a band with Red Symons in the '70s, before having her own hits). "Our parents never wanted us to be musicians," Jackson points out, "they always wanted a doctor and a lawyer. Of course though, when you're young and your parents don't want you to do something, you decide that's exactly what you wanna do. So, in a way, we were kind of tricked into it." Jackson and Harrison's first big musical memory was the Mushroom 25 concert in 1998. "It was our first real insight into the musical world, but I think it completely freaked Harrison out because he saw Peter Andre's dick."

Are the Freuds volatile, like the Gallaghers, or is it more of a creative, collaborative relationship, like the Farriss brothers? "We're the Gallaghers, with better teeth and eyebrows," Jackson laughs. "But through all the bullshit, we still manage to collaborate well together sometimes." Their first gig as Attack of the Mannequins was at the Espy in 2009. "Our sound was completely different back then. We sounded like the fuckin' Killers or Coldplay. It was also a scary experience because it was the first time we'd ever tried playing live with backing tracks. Luckily though, we got through the show and the crowd dug it."

Attack of the Mannequins have quickly become one of Melbourne's most exciting bands. As for their favourite local bands, they list The Mercy Kills ("because New Rule is a fucking great song"), Barbarion ("pyros, beards and rock 'n' roll, how can you go wrong?") and The Rock City Riff Raff ("who are just awesome").

What's the best advice James gave them? "He gave us so much advice, but the one that most stood out was, 'When you're writing songs, make sure you always keep three things in mind: Energy, Intensity and Integrity.' We scrapped a lot of songs that day." The guys have now got an album, Rage of the World, which they made at Jimmy Barnes' Freight Train Studios in Sydney. "Without Jimmy and his family, the album wouldn't have even been possible," Jackson says. As for the title, Harrison explains: "I'd been writing ideas for possible lyrics and song titles. Jackson invaded my privacy by going through that book and caught sight of the phrase 'Rage of the World', which really summed up all of the ideas and themes." The album will be released later this year. Attack of the Mannequins are playing at House of Rock at the Palace on Saturday.


CREEPING UP SLOWLY
They were one of Melbourne's greatest live bands of the late-80s, and they're coming back. Huxton Creepers are re-forming briefly to promote the remastered and re-issued version of their debut album, 12 Days To Paris, which was originally released 25 years ago. It's the first time the album has been on CD (out September 9 on Fuse, with 19 bonus tracks). The band - Rob Craw, Paul Thomas, Matthew Eddy and Archie Law - will launch the CD at the Corner on Saturday, October 8, with The Moffs and Ups and Downs.


GO WITH THE F.L.O.W

It wouldn't be easy being the brother of an Idol winner. But Howzat! caught Chris Sebastian live last week and there's no doubt he's got the goods to carve his own career. His debut single, F.L.O.W - an infectious slice of pop R&B - is a hit waiting to happen.


BEN LEE DARES TO DREAM
Fresh from the world premiere of the movie Ben Lee: Catch My Disease, Ben Lee has announced that his eighth solo album, Deeper Into Dream, will be out on October 11. A free download, Get Used To It (not a cover of the Roger Voudouris song), is available at ben-lee.com. Ben has also been working with Sophie Koh on her new album - the first single, Lo-Fi, will be out in October.


CHART WATCH
Gotye becomes just the third Aussie act to have a number one single in the past two years.

Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number one)
Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (four)
We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (33)
Change Your Heart SHAVE (35, debut)
Always A Winner PETE MURRAY (38)
Loud STAN WALKER (40)

Boy & Bear land at two, unable to knock off Adele, who's spent 14 weeks on top.

Moonfire BOY & BEAR (number two, debut)
Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (13)
Double Platinum THE TEN TENORS (17)
The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating THE LIVING END (18)
Dancing With A Dead Man CALLING ALL CARS (20, debut)
Rain On The Humming Wire THE PANICS (21)
Like Drawing Blood GOTYE (22)
Roy DAMIEN LEITH (25)
Moment Bends ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI (29)
The Life Of Riley DRAPHT (33)
Zoe ZOE BADWI (35)
Daddy Who? Daddy Cool DADDY COOL (36, debut)
Heartbound DREAM ON DREAMER (38, debut)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Fear and Self Loathing A.O.T.M
New Blood RON S. PENO
Get Used To It BEN LEE
Dark Magic SAND PEBBLES
Autumn Leaves HUXTON CREEPERS

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