The opening notes of MANKIND's latest single, "Art Prostitute," set a tone that's at once apprehensive and nonchalant. The vocals kick in shortly, awash in exasperated bluntness, and we're treated to a narrative of white wigs, blue makeup, and what seems to be the masquerade of a tragically hip New Year's Eve party—all wrapped in some supremely punchy garage rock.
The latter track on the Swedish four-piece's new release is a fairly expansive cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For The Man." In addition to being nearly six minutes longer than the original, it embraces more of a deconstructive, psychedelic vibe, perhaps in a nod to the band's ridiculously long noise-jams when they played it live. It ends with an entropic, almost Wilco-esque fadeout, which works well to put a new twist on such a classic song.
Out January 1st on Lazy Octopus Records, Art P seems a fitting send-off to 2016. Both tracks convey a deep, cynical impatience, a desire to abandon all pretense and simply get the hell on with things. It's a sentiment echoed by many of us, and while I can't say this single has alleviated my fears about the immediate future, at least MANKIND has given us a hell of a soundtrack for the dawn of the new year.