Somewhere between an album and an EP, Tima Mansio tangles the Mansions' already messy discography further with its selections from Viva Dead Ponies, newer tracks, and older selections from unreleased-in-America efforts. Kicking off with a "dump the dead" version of Dead Ponies' venomous "Only Losers Take the Bus," Tima Mansio received most of its attention thanks to two amusing enough covers. Ripping through Ministry's industrial/thrash anthem "Stigmata" wasn't too much of a surprise -- the Mansions could hardly make the song more brutal, and Coughlan's distorted screaming doesn't match up to Al Jourgensen's steroid-fed robot howl. Tackling "Shiny Happy People" was another matter entirely, taking the perhaps all-too-sweet swing and groove of the original and almost completely torpedoing it. Only the chorus stays the same from the original, and that in an aggressive, trebly voiced distortion whine, while the music fits in more with the hip-hop touched electronics of the Mansions as Coughlan ladles scorn and fury on just about everything. It's more a blueprint of the band's later snarl through "Everything I Do (I Do for You)" than anything else, but still fun. When it comes to the originals old and new, Coughlan is in fine enough voice, his Scott Walker-in-hell approach often getting the appropriately blasting backing. "Hive" is particularly strong, especially with its rip-snorting chorus that's practically anthemic. There are subtler numbers here and there, though, which don't so much recall the Microdisney days as they do his newly inspired ways around both extremes of performance delivery. "Behind the Moon," a slow, piano-and-drums led number, wears its wasted romance on its sleeve -- suggesting the Walker comparison again, call it Coughlan's "Montague Terrace in Blue" with less orchestration and a touch more malaise.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett