Manic Pixi is a “pop-grunge” band from Brooklyn, NY, formed in 2012 by Kat Hamilton (vocals) and Emmett Ceglia (drums). The rest of the band is Marshall Beiver (guitar) and Drew Bastian (bass). Manic Pixi has been described as “Hole mixed with Green Day, No Doubt, Letters to Cleo and Paramore.” They cite as influences “Riot Grrrl!, Katy Perry, Paramore, The Distillers, and Pinup Girls.” Manic Pixi was formerly known as Sugar Bomb which was an apt name since the band’s music is both addictive and explosive, like all good “pop-grunge” should be. Hey, is “pop-grunge” even a real genre? Well, if it isn’t – it should be!
Kat Hamilton‘s resounding voice is a big part of Manic Pixi‘s gritty charm. She sounds a little like Juliet Simms [ex-Automatic Loveletter, NBC’s The Voice], only less raspy, more snotty. Kat‘s smile, in fact, kind of reminds me of Juliet Simms‘ grin.
Manic Pixi‘s debut Sugar Bomb! (2014) explodes with four great tracks all in a row! First, “Sweet Tooth” opens the album with a “One, two, fuck you!” chant before kicking out a Green Day-gone-psychobilly groove as Kat uses her appetite for sweets as a metaphor for her sexual desires. “You Can’t Kill Me” rages on with grungier guitar riffs and fuzzy bass as Kat recovers, post break-up, fueled by spiteful arrogance: “I must be Jesus because you can’t kill me / But it’s fun to watch you try.” I love this track! “Hangover”, Manic Pixi‘s 1st single, is one of the band’s most addictive tracks and should be in endless rotation on alt-rock radio. Kat, this time, uses overindulgence as a metaphor for a regretful but hard-to-resist hook-up: “You’re my hangover, you’re the liquor I drink / You’re the voice in my head sayin’ one more round.” Finally, “Suddenly Stuck” is a catchy pop/punker in which Kat realizes that her love has become unrequited: “I’m not the girl you fell in love with / I’m just a girl who fell in love / And everyday I’m in the way / Suddenly stuck.” OK, that’s just the first four tracks! Other favorites include Manic Pixi‘s 2nd single “Kiss Me”, “Lions Cage” and the 24-second hardcore punk rocker “Tongue Tunnel”. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like “I’m Still Fighting”, “Under Your Spell”, “Meteor Shower”, and the slow-burning ballad “Blue Wine”. Sugar Bomb! is a fantastic debut, and Manic Pixi is my new favorite band of the week!
Watch the video for “Kiss Me” [which had an exclusive premiere at Curve magazine] here …
I found Manic Pixi on CD Baby, an online music store that caters to independent musicians. I go there periodically and check out the new releases. A few months ago, I discovered Goodbye Kitty K on CD Baby; and, last year, I discovered the amazing Midnight Mob. CD Baby is a great place for new independent music.