Words by Dennis Ruhlin

While Man Man’s new LP, On Oni Pond, delivers a full album of diverse, energetic, and bizarre tracks, it’s without a doubt, their most approachable release yet. Unlike the band’s previous albums, you won’t find others staring at you in disbelief because you’re listening to circus rock. Still, there’s no absence of the organ infused indie-wonk-rock we fans have come to know and love.

The second track, ‘Pink Wonton’, is classic, loud and eccentric Man Man, complete with interspersed organ riffs and Honus Honus with his raspy voice, but it’s way more listenable then anything I can remember. Skip ahead a little bit and throw on the rugged pop rock track ‘Pyramids’ for your mainstream friends, they’ll want to know “who is this?!” in a good way.

I would dare say they have a more mature, or even refined sound, as there’s still that dark edge to the lyrics we’re familiar with, often presented in a nonsensical way. The pessimistic surf-guitar track ‘Sparks’ makes that evident with the words “Hit in the head with a giant rolling pin / your heart was young before it got stepped on / inside you feel a ticking time bomb / just tick tick tick tick…”

Some of their tracks even take on a ‘worldly’ feel to them, like in the spicy Cuban-esque background on ‘Fangs’, and the reggae-meets-Zappa-meets-Thomas Dolby track, ‘King Shiv’. There’s also a certain amount of groove to this album. I wouldn’t say it’s dancy, but certain rhythms and hooks, like in the track ‘End Boss’ and previously mentioned ‘Fangs’, are guaranteed to get you moving.

It’s all across the board, but in an excellently chaotic way. It’s an album old fans of Man Man can enjoy, and it might even entice some newcomers. On Oni Pond dropped September 10th, and if you haven’t listened to it already, get on it!

Man Man
‘On Oni Pond’
© September 10th, 2013



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