Cardiff band Panic Shack describe their upcoming debut EP as “raw, honest and always chaotic”, and new single ‘Mannequin Man’ is the ideal track to showcase the band. Upbeat and fun throughout, it’s just under three minutes of pure joyous energy.
Every element of this track, from the sound to the aesthetic, has a camp ‘80s vibe. In the accompanying video, the band are dressed in leopard-print leotards and leg-warmers as they bounce around, as the music blends a simple drum beat with rolling bass and the kind of strings you can’t help but get stuck in your head.
The whole atmosphere is infectious – it’s impossible to watch the video and not feel the itch to bop along with it. Shot in front of a green screen, it is definitely to the band’s credit that they’ve managed to work around the limitations of a peak-pandemic release to create something so fun.
The lyrics specifically refer to one subject – the titular Mannequin Man – but are vague enough that it’s easy to project meaning into them. Lines like “Do you even feel? Do something! Show me you’re real!” feel like there is hidden depth within them. Perhaps the man in question is emotionally unavailable… Maybe he “better run as fast as you can” because the narrator has finally given up on a connection. So, I found it really fun to learn that the song is simply a reaction to the band meeting a man whose job to was to be a real-life mannequin. I like that this song has taught me that that is a job that exists. I have so many questions and I’m enjoying wondering how and why you might end up in that career. The song effortlessly captures the fun inherent in the idea and stays with you in the same delightful way.
Baby Shack, the debut EP from Panic Shack, is out on 8th April via Brace Yourself Records. Pre-order here.
Photo Credit: Ren Faulkner