Returning from a twelve-year journey into the deepest hearts of space, their bellies full of nuclear pasta and their instruments powered by the energy from a super nova, surf-rock icons Man Or Astroman? have brought a fantastic new album back from their journey beyond space and time – Defcon 5…4…3…2…1.
The record is full of great tracks. We learn the horrible (yet extremely rocking) fate of “Antimatter Man,” which apparently involved Brian “Birdstuff” Teasley beating the Man Who Could Doom with His Very Touch to death like he does his drum kit in this song. “All Systems to Go” sounds like a song they brought back from Devo’s future. “Disintegrate” is a solid rock tune that takes the relay race baton from psychedelia. “Communication Breakdown Pt. II” isn’t so much a Led Zeppelin tribute as it is a hammering cut with bass from Robert “Coco the Electric Monkey Wizard” Del Bueno so fat that I think his bass guitar must’ve been carved from red dwarf star matter.
Being a surf band at heart, there are plenty of instrumentals on the record, and there are ones for each number of the DEFCON alerts. “Defcon 5” is the album’s sizzling opening track. “Defcon 4” is the weirdest of the bunch. “Defon 3” has some of Brian “Star Crunch” Causey’s best guitar work. “Defcon 2” is the track that most sounds like something that was playing on their starship sound system while they cruised past Ursa Major. “Defcon 1,” which ends the album, sends us rocketing back into space with blistering stuff from the band.
It’s great to have these intrepid men (or are they astro-men?) back on Earth. We need them and their planet-shaking rock now more than ever.
~ Nik Havert
Nik Havert is a writer, DJ at WSND 88.9FM University of Notre Dame, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his web site at http://www.picklepress.net.
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