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Chicago's Mannequin Men formed in 2003 and were rather quickly hailed by Windy City fans as one of the, if not the, loudest and most belligerent of the bands in town, one sure to outdrink the crowd on a nightly basis. Rave reviews of their intense gigs from area magazines and weekly newspapers seemed to confirm the point — Mannequin Men liked their rock & roll reckless, raw, and under the influence. Comprised of lead singer and guitarist Kevin Richard, guitarist Ethan d'Ercole (who also plays in Chicago avant funk act the Watchers), bassist Rick Berger, and drummer Seth Bohn, the guys looked to musical forebears like the Stooges, Rolling Stones, Television, and the Meat Puppets to mix their own gnarly and noisy proto-punk cocktail perfect for the garage. Mannequin Men's self-released debut, Showbiz Witch, was recorded live in just one day at their loft studio in town, and before the dust had even settled around the album's release, the guys took to writing more new songs. There was something of a glam rock swagger added to complement the Men's usual rough edges, and after debuting many of the new songs live, Mannequin Men brought them together to ultimately comprise the group's sophomore album (and first for local imprint Flameshovel Records), Fresh Rot, which was released in September 2007. By the following spring, Berger had made an amicable split with the group to venture into married life, and new bassist Miles Raymer took his place for a full slate of shows.