Downgirl has released their new EP titled ‘Manic’. From Australia to the world with glorious global splendor, Downgirl clearly have that ‘it’ quality that makes them fit for any stage, anywhere.
Punk from the roots of giants, Downgirl have laid out eight songs that make you wish there were 16 after that first listen. With enough variety while remaining true to the cause, Downgirl show, with ‘Manic’, variety is in the venom and feeling is in the feels. These songs highlight a band of future legends.
About Downgirl & ‘Manic’
With their uncompromising punk ethos and dominant sound, Downgirl has an extraordinary knack for embedding potent social commentary into their music. Their debut EP ‘Manic’ is no exception, comprising eight tracks, including previously released singles ‘2006’, ‘Boys’ and the title track ‘Manic’. This EP is the culmination of the band’s raw emotions, a turbulent mental journey, and their relentless dedication to their craft.
In the words of Lou Harbidge, “The title, Manic, was lifted from our single of the same name. We chose it as it encapsulates our state of being when the band was in its infancy. This EP is a diary, charting our progress from our beginnings in the bedroom when we were physically separated to now, being in each other’s bloody pockets!”
‘Manic’ is a sonic riot, an unapologetic blend of sounds from riot grrrls of the ’90s and contemporary nu-punk. It’s a blood-boiling release of those inner demons with their fierce, badass rock and roll that defines Downgirl.
The EP kicks off with ‘Fiend’, a head-spinning, grunge-infused number that hits all the marks Downgirl is known for—chugging raucous guitar lines, a heap of attitude from Alex Neville and Kristen Adams on the mic, anthemic choruses, and an uncompromising sense of confidence. ‘Fiend’ delves into the intoxicating allure of a tumultuous relationship, where love is overshadowed by problematic behaviours and questionable decisions. It captures the complex emotions and conflicts that arise when one becomes entangled in a love that is as destructive as it is compelling.
The title track, ‘Manic’, intensifies the EP’s emotional crescendo with powerful riffs and intense drumming that mirror the escalating emotional intensity of the lyrics. It culminates in a climax, fervently seeking relief through a euphoric, noise-filled chorus featuring the recurring refrain, ‘Manic’. The track hits hard and fast, leaving a lingering sweet yet spicy sensation as each band member pours their heart into it.
‘Body’ follows, opening with a disconcerting guitar riff and Kristen Adams taking lead with an earworming vocal melody and snarling attitude. The bass and drums join in, building up to a cathartic chorus, followed by a bass-heavy second verse that showcases Adams’ melodic vocal prowess. The track closes with a cutting guitar solo, making ‘Body’ a compelling narrative of alcohol abuse and its harrowing consequences. It paints a vivid picture of denial, dependence, guilt, and anger, portraying the mental and physical pain of addiction’s rapid descent.
Moving onto Downgirl’s debut single ‘Beauty Queen’, the track is characterized by a wall of noise and frenzied, feedbacking guitars. It then transitions into the instrumental ‘Democracy Manifest’, capturing the nervous and excitable energy of facing overwhelming unease while maintaining a confident facade.
‘2006’, a politically charged track, roars forth with punchy vocals, rough-and-tough instrumentation, and a sound that encapsulates true Australian punk. It punches hard and unflinchingly exposes the ongoing mistreatment of First Nations people. ‘Boys’, their lead single, showcases the band’s fierce punk edge with ominous basslines, rolling drums, and overdriven off-beat guitar stabs. Frontwoman Alexandra Neville’s powerful, growling vocals and biting lyrics shine a spotlight on controversial societal norms.
Finally, the EP concludes with ‘Malibu Stacey’, a short, fast, and furious pure thrash punk track that embodies a snarling attitude.
Downgirl’s ‘Manic’ EP is a ruthless, punk manifesto that fearlessly confronts societal issues and personal struggles. It captures the essence of a band relentlessly forging their path through the turbulent landscape of contemporary punk, all while maintaining their ferocious and unyielding spirit.
Join Downgirl as they take their unrelenting punk fury on the road with a series of tour dates throughout September and October in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Canberra, the Hunter Valley, and more. All dates can be found below.
- October 1 – Off The Rails Festival, Marrickville | w/ Amyl and the Sniffers, Mark of Cain, Private Function +
- October 7 – Melbourne Pier Festival, Melbourne | w/ Hope D +
- November 17 – Red Rattler (EP Launch), Sydney | w/ Social Strangers, Creeping Jenny & The Causeway
- November 24 – Hamilton Station Launch (EP Launch), Newcastle | w/ Where’s Jimmy & Goon Gremlins