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Manda Rin - My DNA

Manda Rin, My DNA

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

MANDA RIN, aka Amanda MacKinnon, will be known to many as the face of cult electro-punk pop trio Bis.

Formed in 1994, Bis enjoyed plenty of appearances on Top Of The Pops, recorded three albums and toured with the likes of Foo Fighters, Ash and Garbage.

In America, they featured on Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal label and sold nearly 100,000 copies of their debut album in its first week of release in Japan.

Now solo, Amanda has a big task to replicate the success of Bis – but she’s not strayed too far from the format. For debut album, My DNA, she continues to dabble in disco-punk, as well as drawing on a strong guitar pop edge.

She insists her new direction is influenced by acts such as The Gossip, CSS, New Young Pony Club, To My Boy, Blood Red Shoes and her new favourite band, Late Of The Pier. But while there are traces of a couple of those in the songs on offer, they fail to ultimately add up to much.

Rather, My DNA sounds dated and lacks any real killer tracks to really make it stand out from the whole disco-punk field.

Lead single DNA is about as good as it gets, opening the album with the promise of something the rest of it fails to deliver.

Tracks have a habit of blurring into one, with the disco sound – backed by kitsch ’80s influenced synths – quickly sounding laboured and repetitive.

Occasionally, there’s a break afforded by the aforementioned inclusion of guitars, such as Bad Things Happen To Bad People or the bass heavy No Language, while Less Than Zero is one of few tracks to benefit from a more openly pop approach that actually feels contemporary.

But on the whole this is disappointingly one-dimensional and not really a good way to re-launch a solo career.

Download picks: DNA, Bad Things Happen To Bad People, Less Than Zero

Track listing:

  1. DNA
  2. Typeface
  3. Bad Things Happen To Bad People
  4. Guilty Pleasure
  5. Do The Static
  6. The Word Out
  7. Break-Up / Breakdown
  8. Love To Hate You
  9. No Language
  10. Less Than Zero
  11. Black Book
  12. Bruises