Release Date: Feb 21, 2006
Record label: Ace Fu
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Subjects of huge buzz at South by Southwest 2005 for their circus-of-insanity live show, Philly's Man Man comes across like Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart collaborating on a klezmer-influenced soundtrack to your scariest nightmare about killer clowns. The stripped-down opening track on their sophomore LP, "Feathers," almost borders on accessible, with a simple waltz-time saloon piano and multi-tracked vocals that sound about one whiskey shy of a drunken sea shanty. But by the time you get to track two, "Engrish Bwudd," the band has clearly given in to the temptation of overindulgence, with the whoops, wails, hollers, and growls of a musical madman singing "fee, fi, fo, fum" complemented by falsetto counterparts squealing "I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Philadelphia’s independent music scene can safely be cut into three subsets: the fairly infectious, vaguely retro indie-pop of B.C. Camplight, the Capitol Years, the Spinto Band, the A-Sides, and the Teeth; the stoned psych-folk wonder of Bardo Pond, Fursaxa, Brother JT, and Espers; and the spazzed-out mutli-genre miasma of Need New Body, Coyote, Golden Ball, and the topic of today’s discussion, Man Man. They all have distinct ideas about their music, so despite playing on the same bills and having the same fans, these groups’ sounds’ rarely overlap.