Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Man Man – Piranhas Club

Or rather, Boy Boy.


Rebecca Toennessen: Life Fantastic is almost certainly going to be my #1 album of 2011. As ever, the cheery ragtime piano-meets deranged circus music is belied by the dark lyrics. “Piranhas Club” is definitely the sunniest on the album but it still advocates going batshit crazy in order to cope, and finally ends with the wistful “I don’t wanna be the stranger in your rear view mirror; I just wanna be the man you bring home again.” Bloody brilliant.

Brad Shoup: I’ve long been a fan of Man Man’s surreal sentimentality, going so far as to include them in a Top Ten Power Ballads piece for Stylus. Evidently, the sentiment’s intact. set to a surfy boogaloo, Man Man poses relationships as a series of  tests fraught with mortal danger. It shimmers and snaps in equal dose. Admittedly, it’s a little cartoony, but imagine the damage it could do on Yo Gabba Gabba!

Jer Fairall: Mid-00’s widescreen indie done with a sense of humour and playfulness rarely glimpsed amidst Arcade Fire or Wolf Parade’s panoramic rumbles, like a mad scientist concoction of Attractions-era Costello crossed with They Might Be Giants, or Born To Run reconfigured as a Mel Brooks musical parody number. As charming as it is nonsensical.

Jonathan Bradley: Laboriously constructed, sub-B-52s surf-pop that offers nothing this ossified genre hadn’t already delivered decades before. Two points because the chorus — “throw me to piranhas” — offers a solution to the problem of the tune’s presence.

Edward Okulicz: Lyrics aside, this could have come from an episode of Sesame Street, possibly soundtracking a montage of various bodies of water. The sound is the ocean, the words are rivers, the hooks are obvious and very, very ingratiating.

Alex Ostroff: Oddly enough, this might be the least weird I’ve ever heard Man Man sound. Even with their rough edges sanded off, Honus Honus and the gang have lost none of their charm. Surf-guitar tunes about broken-hearted suicide-by-fish were a niche that I didn’t know needed filling until they provided me with this, but by the end, it’s almost moving. There might be more fish in the sea, but for those of us who aren’t barracudas, the sea can be a dangerous place. Flashing your teeth won’t always get you taken home, or save you from being torn limb from limb.

Jonathan Bogart: Oh, hey, Man Man are still around. And yep, they’re still Man Manning it up out there. This one leans a little more towards the Coral side of their aesthetic than towards the Tom Waits side, but you know. It’s Man Man. They’re pretty much always going to just Man Man around.

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