Five years since the release of Guns Babes Lemonade, Muscles is back with his second album, titled Manhood. This album is promised to be less pop than his debut, and is being released through Modular, home to other Australian dance/electro artists, including Cut Copy, Sneaky Sound System and The Presets.
Manhood is described as a prelude to Guns Babes Lemonade. Opening track Kiss Hello establishes its place as a nice warm-up of what is yet to be heard. Boys Become Men fires up the mood instantly. The sound of 90’s dance hits come to mind and this song is situated as a clear favourite on the album.
Ready For A Fight is the much-anticipated first single from the forthcoming album. Released back in April, it has received a substantial amount of airplay, to rave reviews. Leading with the lyrics ‘Yeah ah-huh, ah-huh yeah’ sets it up for a great club anthem. Providing a lead guitar in the intro, Muscles then sends the album into a Heatwave with the next track. It is perhaps a more relaxed song, which gives the listener a chance to regenerate.
Enduring over six minutes in length, Brainfreeze has a psychedelic feel with a groovy bass line. Girls Go Crazy is more vocal orientated with repeating sounds of ‘Take two steps back’, with which the track could be appropriately performed at his festival appearances.
The Night and Koala continue into the latter half of Manhood. Beginning as a very mellow track, Koala surprisingly turns into deep electro-house, meanwhile presenting vocals of ‘In the gum tree’ and ‘Eucalyptus leaves’. Just Breathe begins with gunshots fired from the resonance of a computer or Nintendo game. Muscles can’t help but effectively enter the boundaries of pop with melodic vocals.
Another track enduring a lengthy six minutes, 1823 fits perfectly in its place on the album. I’ll Follow You almost sounds as if it would feature in a movie of space adventures with sampling of a voice overheard. Change My Mind For Good is repeated over and over in this well-balanced track that concludes the album. It resembles a sing-a-long that drives a great electro beat.
While Muscles is challenged to slightly avoid the boundaries of pop, a follow-up to a debut album is always the most difficult to release. There are few songs on the album that are induced within this genre; however, the album is very well produced and it fits exceedingly well into the Australian electro scene.