Mannheim – Super Empowered

Super Empowered is not a procession of monolithic blarings.

(Self Release)

Sometimes things comes together in such a clear, clean way. Mannheim’s LP, Super Empowered, has got all bases covered; from the title, through the cover (cover’s a sand works or a cement works I think) through to the music. It certainly all adds up to showcase Mannheim’s processed attack. This is a bleak, industrial and tough record; with a clean, stripped down structure and an odd beauty. It’s built to impress and excite. Which it does; and there is a lot of light and colour in their scorching blasts of sound.

You always worry that these kind of records fall back on noise for its own sake but Super Empowered is not a procession of monolithic blarings. At times there are very satisfying build ups as on opener Beast, which is almost light-headed by the end. That things grate and crunch and crackle is unsurprising; that they take the odd twist into unexpected places is pretty cool. We get a ‘predictable’ (but good) quiet track in Trojan that serves as a half way stopping point. Elsewhere, bits of The Filth are pretty ‘Dada’ at times, and you’re not sure whether the stops and starts in Watcher or Invisibility are playful or sinister, or just gonzoid splurges for the sake of it. The sax stabs are ‘a bit Gong’ if I’m honest, too. And Predator’s quite gooey; with an attitude that could be a gnarly, beefed up take on For Your Pleasure-era Roxy.  It’s a great record if you batten yourself down.