Monday, July 11, 2011

Man Man Once Again Pulls off Manical Beautifully

Man Man is a fairly unique band. It's hard to describe their sound other than 'melodic noise' because the band uses anything and everything for instruments. I first heard about them in an article in Charlotte's Creative Loafing in an interview piece in which the interviewer asked Honus Honus, the lead singer, what was the most bizarre instrument they had ever used on stage. Honus Honus replied: a frog. That should seriously sum it up. The newest release details this strange and captivating sound in a much more musically appealing while conversely being the darkest lyrical album of the group.

Man Man has always been dark. From songs like "Engrish Bwudd" that details an abusive father and how he treats his daughter because of her lover to "Poor Jackie" which details a girl who stalks the streets at night to hunt down men and kill them out of the fear that said man will rape her, Man Man has never been for the faint of heart. However, the lyrics on this album, particularly the song "Haute Tropique" that details two individuals, one a man who can't help but kill people and then turn them into items for his house hold, and a woman who kills her daughters because they "drove her fucking crazy" really sends the imagery through your head like a blunt nail being hammered in. I am a big fan of this extremely dark and poetic imagery, which is why I have followed this band for so long, but it is definitely not for everyone.

 The musical styling, on the other hand, has taken another change towards a more main stream audience, but not necessarily in a bad way. Many of the songs, such as "Piranhas Club", has a style reminiscent of 50's rock like the Beach Boys, which gives the song not only a catchy riff, but a strong sense of irony when this familiar and family friendly style of music is matched with lyrics such as "If you need to punch your Dad in the face I say do it, duh duh duh duh duh do it."

Other tracks sway towards the more traditional style of the band. "Dark Arts" has the frantic and chaotic but melodic feel of Man Man's fame with some of the silliness of the random shouts and noises teamed with the eerie lyrics and "Life Fantastic" and "Knuckle Down" follow the same flow as the bands softer songs, filled with melancholy and random instruments that take a few listens to absorb.

Over all, this CD is exactly what the band needs. It hits the high points of Man Man's style without straying too far towards the path of "selling out." For fans, there's plenty to enjoy (especially the deluxe version with four more tracks similar to the bands old stuff). For new comers, there is no better CD to jump into the chaos with than this one. Man Man is definitely hard to swallow for some and not for everyone, but if you get sucked in, you will be stuck forever.

Don't forget to leave any comments you'd like here on the blog or on my Facebook page about what I have said here. Do you think I'm right? Am I full of myself? You tell me.

Here are some links for more information about the band:
Their official site:
The Wiki:

Some Recommended Tracks:
"Haute Tropique", "Piranhas Club", "Knuckle Down", "Life Fantastic"

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