Reviews Maniqui Lazer I Learn Everything on TV

Maniqui Lazer

I Learn Everything on TV

I don’t know much about music along the US-Mexico border, and the name Maniqui Lazer and the cartoonish sketches on the cover only intrigue me so much. Mostly, it gives the impression of a weird band with a lot of keyboards. Lo and behold, I got that part right. I just missed the crazy energy held within the cardboard package. The band’s name is fitting enough, in fact, that their “lazer punk” motto is actually a fitting description.

The intro track should’ve been thrown out, utilizing the instrumental “Dance Pills” to set the tone - it does that anyway, since “788662” is twenty-seven seconds of filler. They set the tone with energetic, bouncy keyboards, but the band doesn’t hit their dancepunk-screamy math rock-metal stride until the third song when vocalist Jung Sing gets involved. The first half of the record is more on the dancey side, sounding somewhere between The Blood Brothers and maybe Death From Above 1979, but with a few intermittent screams and chaotic breakdowns. While the dancier songs might garner them some indie cred, Maniqui Lazer doesn’t seem to be seeking that out, the recurrence of angry, short screamy outbursts in the majority of their songs see that the band remains outside of any easily identified genre.

The band has hints of a lot of different things: screamy avant garde is present throughout, with the short song structures and discordant key punching. However, by having keyboard-driven melodies, the band supersedes this label with more of a dancey, fun feel than anything overtly technical and arty. Behind the shake-your-ass beats, there is a variety of influence, just one example of which is the fuzzed-out garage guitars of “You Me and the Lazer Gun.” Their eclectic approach shows impressive songwriting skill, as there is never a problem with cohesion in the songs, and they maintain a distinct sound throughout. The more I listen to this, the more I find myself enjoying it. I just can’t quite pinpoint what it reminds me of.

Cohesion does become an issue in the album’s structure. The record is so short-tempered and off the wall that it never garners a flow between songs. Everything is two minutes or less, and the tempos range from mid-paced dance beats to relentless screams. I Learn Everything on TV may as well be on random. It just doesn’t feel like it flows, and ending on the lyrics, “1-2-3, let’s go” only accentuates the random feel.

I also find it curious that the band includes a title track that is a forgettable 1:14 instrumental in the middle of the record. The significance of this is lost on me. Regardless, the Mexicali band has piqued my interest. With a little more consistency and less instrumental intermissions, there is potential for something special.

7.1 / 10Loren
Leave a comment

7.1 / 10

7.1 / 10

Share this content
Riffblaster EP
Recent reviews


Rites of Despair

8.5 / 10 Fórn  - Rites of Despair album cover

Boston’s Fórn have been making slow, emotional music that rips your heart to pieces since 2012 and in that time the band have progressed into an entity that can make ...


Dead Dance Club

7.5 / 10 Maniac - Dead Dance Club album cover

Across the board Maniac reminds me of several bands. The vocal timbre of lead vocalist Zache Davis recalls Mark Ryan (Marked Men) and so does the rhythm section, though it’s ...

Four Fists


7.5 / 10 Four Fists - 6666 album cover

Four sixes, four fists, two rappers and some punchy production that’s equally space age and heavy hitting. It’s my own interpretation here, but the group name is more a reference ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.