Manifest Destiny's Child: Manifesting a New Wave of Noise
As a genre, “girly noise rock” may sound like an oxymoron, however, one local band is determined to prove otherwise. That band is Manifest Destiny’s Child.
Made up of drummer Dom Malpica, guitarist Carol Gonzalez, and bassist Sabrina Tionloc, the group has wasted no time in establishing themselves as a power trio. Each a skilled musician in her own right, the members join forces to produce a sound that is deep, saturated, and invariably floor-shaking.
Manifest Destiny’s Child is a nascent group in every sense of the word. Longtime friends, the band members first began collaborating on musical projects when they were only 16. Although their first attempt at a band quickly dissolved, the trio was undeterred, forming the group as Denton knows it in February of this year.
Still only 17 years old, the bandmates have made great strides in building a name for their band in the Denton music scene. Literal “new kids on the block,” Manifest Destiny’s Child are frequenters of DIY venues such as BLVR St. Paper Company and Alien Sister. The band was also featured during Broketopia, the low-cost alternative to Denton’s increasingly exclusive Oaktopia festival.
Despite the youthfulness of the band (and, indeed, its members), Manifest Destiny’s Child projects a deceptively mature sound. This is due in part to the band’s wide range of musical influences. MDC draws upon a long history of musical innovation in crafting their work. Though the bandmates’ favorite groups range from The Mars Volta to Tame Impala, they share a mutual appreciation of Warpaint, Deerhoof, and Led Zeppelin--rock staples that clearly inform MDC’s full, dynamic sound. In fact, listening to MDC is comparable to leafing through an encyclopedia of iconic rock motifs. Intentional or not, this seamless conglomeration of the individual artists’ rock-n-roll schema acts as a forceful showcase of the band’s extensive musical vocabulary.
Though Manifest Destiny’s Child borrows many musical ideas from other artists, the band has still managed to craft a unique musical identity. Bold and bass-heavy, MDC effortlessly alternates between sludgy, enigmatic melodies and crashing, abrasive walls of noise-- often abruptly and several times over the course of one song. However, even sudden transitions between these two poles are executed with surprising bravura. It is perhaps this flexibility that makes the band’s music so alluring. MDC exhibits an ability to turn on a dime not often seen in such young musical projects.
MDC’s articulate play style can be traced back to the motivations behind why they perform. In the words of guitarist Carol Gonzalez: “Personally, what motivates me to play is how one can express themselves through music. I see people like Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, and Jimmy Page play and they can almost talk through the guitar. They create a feeling inside of the listener that can't be expressed any other way… Being able to take the audience--and even myself and the rest of the band--to another level is what I want to do, and what drives me to play music.”
Manifest Destiny’s Child is also motivated by their socio-political philosophies. As with many all-female bands, MDC describes themselves as a feminist group. And, in a manner reminiscent of many classic punk acts, the trio use their band as a platform on which to deliver their feminist message. Through their work, Manifest Destiny’s Child is committed to empowering young women like themselves to pursue their dreams.
Of course, MDC’s inspirational message isn’t limited to women. As Gonzalez says, “Since we are a lot younger than most of the bands on the Denton music scene, we thought it was going to be really hard to get ourselves out there. But we've met such wonderful people who have helped us so much... Rob from Jesus Chris + the Beetles and Jade Owens from Bad James are some names that stand out. Without their constant help and encouragement, we wouldn't be here. They are such amazing people with amazing bands of their own who have helped us along the journey, and we are very thankful for how they have inspired us. We hope to inspire many more in the same way.”
The band’s radiant energy can be clearly heard--and indeed felt--in their music. Eager to earn their “girly noise rock” label, Manifest Destiny’s Child consistently deliver a girl-powered collage of rock that is sure to blow the mind and rattle the teeth.
Header image design by Brittany Keeton