Opener 'Drones' is a scuzzy garage punk track which lead singer/songwriter Karla Chubbs admits is about her struggles with imposter syndrome. It is full of electricity and swagger so to realize it’s about the pressure of feeling you have to constantly prove yourself is pretty surprising. The energy is full throttle. The intensity grows with the guitars, drums and vocals almost reflecting the building anxiety until it all breaks down. The realisation that others suffer from the same struggle, and actually you are more than good enough is the high that the song ends on. Full of emotion and spark, this is a raucous track with an accompanying video which is as hilarious as it is thought-provoking.
Next up is 'Swimming' which opens with a punk infused attention-grabbing sound which is akin to a siren. It continues at a frenzied pace, with on-fire garage guitars and an energy which does not let up. Karla’s urgent vocals and the pounding / thrashing drums all make for a wild combination. The lyrics talk of following paths supposedly leading us to society’s view of “success”, only to find a lack of opportunity and no real way to progress. As Karla sings she has been working full-time but “still got four coins in my pocket” informing us that it’s making no difference. The struggle continues and it is almost like treading water, never really making much headway, whilst decision-makers continue to concentrate on the banal, not tackling the issues that matter the most. Corruption and nepotism are rife. The chorus is yelled out “I said hey the city is sinking, he said hey let’s go swimming” – suggesting we should find our own path, and not drown in preconceived ideas of success. 'Swimming' finishes on a blast of chaotic rebellion.
My favourite is title-track 'Manifesto' which is a powerful statement relaying a personal creed. “I don’t need nobody to tell me what to do.” “I’ve got a policy of understanding.” I sing this at the top of my voice every time I listen to it. Its energy surges through your veins along with the empowering message describing a good way to live and how to treat others. It also states that the establishment does not necessarily behave correctly, but we can make our own choices. The final lyric always send shivers down my spine: “I’ll leave the lying, the meddling, the cock-ups to the state.”
The last track 'Ashley' is one we haven’t heard before. It has a slightly different vocal style but fits right in and shows versatility. The guitars seem to have an electrical cackle which adds to the fire. 'Ashley' is a love song, SPRINTS style. “I’d die for you. Lie for you. Wake up in the middle of the night for you. Cos I’m crazy. Baby.” However it’s the rhythm of the lyrics in this song which give it a wild edge. Perhaps its an obsessive, unrequited love. There is almost a desperation as Karla emotionally sings “So won’t you save me” right at the end.