Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Man or Astro-Man? - Is It... Man or Astro-Man?dotdotdot
artworkThis is among the better Man or Astro-Man? releases, with more melodic and listenable music, and better writing. . The trouble with Man or Astro-Man? in general is that their music is mostly chord progressions, not particularly melodic, and in too many cases, preceded by corny sci-fi or B-movie samples that just take up space. Their music behind a raging vocalist would really rule, but without a melody, it is mostly forgettable. Mermaid Love is an excellent vocal.
Picks: Taxidermist Surf, Invasion Of The Dragonmen, Nitrous Burnout, Clean Up On Aisle #9 [Turn Up The Monitors], Journey To The Stars, Cowboy Playing Dead, Sadie Hawkins Atom Bomb, The Human Calculator, Organ Smash, Cattle Drive, Escape Through The Air Vent, Eric Estrotica, Alien Visitors

Track by Track Review

Taxidermist Surf dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Aside from the sampled intro, this is a twangy riff rockin' track, with thick chords and bunches of energy, just little to call a melody. Aggressive and powerful, and steadily delivered.

Invasion Of The Dragonmen dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

"Invasion Of The Dragonmen" is another riff dominated track. What saves it is the cool surf dribbling in the break.

Nitrous Burnout dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Dark and mean chord rompin' assault. The minimal melody is pretty much buried in the darkness. The squalling feedback at the break is pretty intense.

Clean Up On Aisle #9 [Turn Up The Monitors] dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

While mostly a riff, this has a more defined structure, a more surf based feel, with excellent drums and very cool tone. Lots of power and splash, plus interspersed cries of ."..I said clean it up..."

Journey To The Stars dotdotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

Big dark pummeling of the Ventures monster, very strong and like the original except really pumped and grodie. There's something of the Berzerkers in this.

Cowboy Playing Dead dotdotdot
Cowboy Garage (Instrumental)

Thrashy chords, a nifty little cowboy-surf riff, and hoots and hollers all come together to shout "I wear cowboy boots to bed and what of it?" The cactus brigade can be heard just over the horizon, like a lesser version of the Smarties.

Sadie Hawkins Atom Bomb dotdotdot
Psycho Cowboy Garage (Instrumental)

"Sadie Hawkins Atom Bomb" is a slower instro, with some stinging whammy and some minor chord weirdness. The riff is cool, and eventually breaks into a choppy percussive thing. It sounds like a psycho on the range riding Mr. Ed.

The Human Calculator dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

With talk of "The Human Calculator" throughout reminiscent of Velvet Underground-Kraftwerk influences over a basic riff that requires the story line to avoid boredom. It's cool.

Organ Smash dotdotdot
Garage Church (Instrumental)

Warbling church organ, a chumpy riff, and cool guitar work together to create a sideshow sound. It's sorta friendly in an asylum waiting room way.

Cattle Drive dotdotdot
Cattle Drive Garage (Instrumental)

Super twang vibrato, and slow shimmer, then... sudden thrash, punk attack, and not enough melody. Thick and mean, with cows mooing.

Escape Through The Air Vent dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

Pretty surfy riff rockin' energy music, intense and stinging, ingested with narrated spy wannabe talk. Like a quartz lamp, it pierces the darkness, casting harsh shadows that hide the real story. Interesting textural contrasts throughout.

Eric Estrotica dotdotdot
Surf Garage (Instrumental)

The garage surf side of Eric Estrada is explored through garage riff reverb and round tones. High powered racing thriller rock with shouts of energy release throughout.

Alien Visitors dotdotdot
Space Surf Garage (Instrumental)

Moody almost Pink Floyd "Set The Controls For The Heart Of the Sun" sounds and riffs, with excellent tom tom action and mean eerie tone. The repetition creates a relentless danger. I'd have preferred the samples were left out, but the track still works really well, despite being fairly unmelodic. It's a long track at over five minutes.