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Monday, May 20, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: MAN OR ASTRO-MAN? - Defcon 5...4...3...2...1

MAN OR ASTRO-MAN? - Defcon 5...4...3...2...1 (Warm Electronic Recordings)

Auburn, Alabama's #1 Sci-Fi-Spy-Surf group return with their first album in a dozen years and a slightly more muscular sound.

It was a hell of a great surprise to find out that Man or Astro-Man? were back together and had a new album out. They've played a few shows and released a few singles since reuniting in 2010, but somehow that news never made it to me. The band has evolved in several ways since their last album. They're a bit more rocking this time round and at times deliberately downplay their surfy roots in favor of grungier indie rock. They've practically abandoned the found sound movie drop-ins that were one of their trademarks. And they've put more emphasis on vocals - almost half of the songs here have vocals. If the band name wasn't on the cover I don't think I would guessed who this was. There are some very classic Man or Astro-Man moments, but there is also a little lo-fi electronica and even some poor man's Sonic Youth. The album doesn't always work, but when it does, it's quite fun. When it doesn't quite work it's still interesting, but I'm not sure how often I'll return to it once the novelty of having a new Man or Astro-Man? album wears out.

The song below is one of the more traditional Man or Astro-Man moments from the new album.

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