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Man Man - Rabbit Habits (Cover Artwork)

Man Man

Man Man: Rabbit HabitsRabbit Habits (2008)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Forays into absurdist music can be frightening, jarring, unappealing and disturbing. Or they can be eye-opening, evangelical experiences. Mitch Hedberg said it best when talking about his death metal band: "People either loved us or hated us. Or they thought we were okay." Bands like Man Man can be .
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Forays into absurdist music can be frightening, jarring, unappealing and disturbing. Or they can be eye-opening, evangelical experiences. Mitch Hedberg said it best when talking about his death metal band: "People either loved us or hated us. Or they thought we were okay." Bands like Man Man can be polarizing to the average music fan, inspiring fierce loyalism or general distaste. Or they might just not even hit the register and render the listener to be so far removed from what they're attempting that the listener's brain refuses to form an opinion about them.

Which is how Six Demon Bag hit me.

The group has seemed to abandon their Tom Waits lite approach, instead embracing other forms of absurdist/eclectic inspirations. "Mister Jung Stuffed" comes off with a furious clicking behind it like a movie projector idly running in the background. "Hurly/Burly" employs a train whistle harmonica prominently as percussion over a heavy bass and piano groove before moving into some interesting syncopated riff trading. A fantastic track. Only fitting that "Doo Right" is a straight-up doo-wop piano ballad. The standard carnival jam formula of their last release can be applied to "The Ballad of Butter Beans," "Big Trouble" and "Easy Eats or Dirty Dr. Galapagos." Etcetera.

But while it'd be easy to refer each song to an accompanying genre/inspiration, the bird's eye view of the album shows ultimately some variation to the tempo, style and arrangements. Offering up some variety is what truly makes a release like this stand out and become memorable. Just like how listening to the time signature changes in a Lords album is the only way to get your bearings while listening to the album, the slight change for Man Man offers a world of depth.

That being said, there's a time and place for everything, and there won't always be a time and place to listen to this album. Their wacky approach and inaccessible image hasn't held them back from winning front page promotional spots for MySpace or making their way onto the soundtrack for popular urban apparel stores. While I see little crossover success for the group, it's hard to deny a well-put together album that displays both effort, cunning, musicality, and humor. Well played, Man Man. Well played.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Jesse (April 17, 2008)

It's a superhero name joke:

Spiderman, Superman...

Man Man.

Get it?

TheMike (April 17, 2008)

I think that's one of the most trivial complaints I've ever heard. Kudos sumwon.

sumwon (April 17, 2008)

I will say it every time I see one of these bands: There is nothing less creative than repeating the word you just said/wrote.

Score is for every band name that is the same word repeated twice.

TheMike (April 16, 2008)

Seeing Man Man live is not a drag. It is a privilege.

Brokendogleg (April 16, 2008)

Don't miss these guys live. I saw them last night in Columbus and they put on THE best show. This cd is also really good as well. I love all of their albums, though. But yeah, definately hit up that show.

rkl (April 15, 2008)

i think im getting dragged along to see these guys. i made a deal with my friend that if hed come with me to see nofx(shut up, its my first time), id go see man man w/ him.
this well-written review has me feeling apprehensive, like maybe i shouldve just offered to buy him a 15 pack of pbr or something.

24HourPriapism (April 15, 2008)

scott was close, sounds more like tom waits fronting mr. bungle while they perform every single tim burton movie soundtrack at once.

youwinalemon (April 15, 2008)

I think Six Demon Bag's a tiny little bit better, but this is still awesome. My only real complaint is that it doesn't blow Six Demon Bag out of the water.

That said, I think "Poor Jackie" might be the best song they've ever written.

maverick (April 15, 2008)

Every song by this band sounds like Tom Waits singing the Inspector Gadget theme song.

-Scott

TheMike (April 15, 2008)

Ha Ha

osloboditelj (April 15, 2008)

I was going to say I liked this band better when they played post-rock, but then I realised I was thinking of Talk Talk.

TheMike (April 15, 2008)

This is an interesting album. I need to hear it a few more times to fully digest it, but right now, I give it 7. This will likely increase in time.

the_ken_chin_imposter (April 15, 2008)

I wonder how many of the reviews I can post first on?

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