Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Man or Astro-MAN? - Your Weight On The Moondotdotdot
artworkMan or Astro-MAN? will be very pleased with this package. The Your Weight On The Moon ep is extended with a slab of other tracks from the same period, and the whole thing has a very consistent sound. One of the things that I just never got into much, which Man or Astro-MAN? tended to overuse, is the dialog and samples in the beginning of songs. Pardon my mediocre review... but Man or Astro-MAN? just never really grabbed me. I know lots of you liked them a lot, and I'm quite sure you'll enjoy this expanded reissue.
Picks: Rocketship XL-3, Special Agent Conrad Uno, Electrostatic Brain Field, Shockwave, Taser Gubs Mean Big Fun, F=GnM(moon)/r2, Of Sex And Demise, Secret Agent Conrad Uno, Point Blank, Goldfinger

Track by Track Review


Rocketship XL-3 dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

This is a punky cover of The Phantoms' "XL-3." Very well played, with a not entirely complimentary arrangement. It seems to miss the point of the song, but in its absence, creates its own environ. If you had not heard the original or Jon and the Nightriders, this would rock your world.

Special Agent Conrad Uno dotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Dark surf patterns and choice reverb, "Special Agent Conrad Uno" is a spunky song with big drums and a narrative. On the dark side, with slithery guitar work and pick slides.

Electrostatic Brain Field dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

The melody is fast and dangerous, with big drums and lots of track reverb. Strong drums and dark guitar double picking a menacing riff. "Electrostatic Brain Field" is a pretty strong track.

Shockwave dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Eerie electronics are added to a spunky cover of Zorba & the Greeks' "Shockwave." Bigger drama, organ whining, and more edge. part space rock, part surf.

Taser Gubs Mean Big Fun dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

dark double picked, modestly heavy, and whammified. "Taser Gubs Mean Big Fun" is surfy, tom tom laden, and pretty fun.

F=GnM(moon)/r2 dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

"Your Weight On The Moon" has a fairly dark sound and melody line. It's not the sort of melody that's hummable, but it is adventurous, suggesting a bit of sadness. There are some cool tom tom episodes.

Space Patrol dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

"Space Patrol" is a racing rendition of "Squad Car." The drums are too echoed, detracting from the power, as does the occasionally overbearing siren wails. Primal, but not among the better versions.

Happy Fingers dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Organ lead, awash in track reverb, and ever cycling. Tom tom laden go-go. "Happy Fingers" has too much sample insertion for me. There are some tuff drum parts.

Polaris dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and dark twang power this riff dominated number. It never quite develops a melody, though the variations of the progressions does keep it from getting lost. Edgy and driven hard.

Name Of Numbers dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Moodswing grungomatic riff rockin', big whammy, dissonant irritation, and thick danger. Some cool elements, but like many of their tunes, it doesn't quite become a song.

Of Sex And Demise dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Big guitar splash, jazzy percussion, beatnik bass lines. "Of Sex And Demise" is inventive and fun. Almost bouncy, certainly interesting, but not the sort of driving number that you travel coastal roads to.

Madness In The Streets dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Verging on grode, with gruff glissandos, and a bit of an espionage feel to it. "Madness In The Streets" is unusual, but I didn't get drawn into it.

Within A Martian Heart dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, haunting vibrato chords, growling monsters, and eerie sound... samples and sci-fi sfx.

Point Blank dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

A long sampled intro precedes a rock instro with intensity and some cool rhythm parts. IN the end, I found my mind wandering. "Point Blank" did not hold my attention. This is the Mission Into Chaos 7" version.

Classified dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Brash and rhythmic in the way The Amino Acids sometimes do. Is it chicken or egg... I think "Classified" is clearly more about loud than musical, perhaps like an amped up film sequence piece.

Secret Agent Conrad Uno dotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

"Secret Agent Conrad Uno" is loud and intense, with tuff glissandos and intensity. Its relentless power commands attention, as does the whammy and drums action, plus the bass grumble. The long slow glissando up and back down amped with insane swirly snarl, along with the lines from "Peter Gunn," make this very cool!

Point Blank dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

This version is louder and grungier than the Mission Into Chaos version. The effect is a stronger track, in my opinion. Rhythmic and aggressive, with churning rhythms and tortured lead work.

Goldfinger dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Man Or Astro-MAN? deliver their usual poundy high energy sound on "Goldfinger."