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The House Flies - Mannequin Deposit (self-released)

3 July 2024

The term post-punk is a broad one indeed, so broad, in fact, as to almost be meaningless as a generic tag. At most, it is sort of an umbrella term for a whole host of alternative and non-commercial musical pursuits that flavour the 80’s outside track. If you want to know more precisely what those were and what they sounded like, you could do a lot worse than give Mannequin Deposit a spin, as it references a great many of them through-out its eight songs.

If the opener, “She Hums Mozart,” feels like a long lost Cure song, representing the gothic thread of the post-punk experience, all resonant guitars and brooding basslines, then “Queen Underground” ebbs and flows between the cavernous squall of the shoegaze fraternity and something more exquisitely indie and ornate, an on/off sound that hit its highwater mark with college rock bands such as Pixies and Sonic Youth.

“Marrow” is more understated (relative to what else is on the album) and shimmers and chimes in quiet reflection of dream-pop’s more considered and ethereal ways. Finally, we find ourselves spiralling out of the album and into the depths of hell in the slow, funereal march that is “Ghosts Will Speak Again.”

I don’t want to give the impression that The House Flies are just about plundering and plagarising past sounds, nothing could be further from the truth. But they are a band that knows the history of their music. They say those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. The House Flies have learned everything that they need to know from the past and learned well, which is why they can so effortlessly reimagine it, expand on it and take it to wholly new sonic realms.