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Open Surgery

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Album Review

Here's something you don't encounter every day, at least not in the U.S.: an accomplished and mature pop-punk band from Jerusalem. Man Alive had been scratching out an existence for several years in the Middle East while slowly building an international fan base and self-releasing two full-length albums before they caught the attention of the Militia Group label and producer Ed Rose (whose name you may recognize from the back of a Get Up Kids album or two). Open Surgery is the result, and it's an impressive document of a band that has honed its craft and persevered and poured its experiences back into the music. Highlights include the twisted rockabilly rave-up of the title track, the Hüsker Dü-inflected "On the Air," and the utterly brilliant power pop anthem "Hold On." For those who prefer your pop-punk mixture to be mixed a bit more heavily toward the punk side, there's the borderline-hardcore sound of "Against the Wall," which blows the doors off for a grand total of 40 seconds. Recommended.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Jerusalem, Israel

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Starting off in 1999, in Jerusalem, Israel, pop-punk trio Man Alive traveled a hard road before their first label release in 2005. Vocalist/guitarist Jamie Hilsden, guitarist David Shkedi, and bassist/vocalist Jon Shkedi plowed through the Israeli underground scene for a few years and rose to the top of the heap through sheer force of will, building a dedicated fan base and eventually releasing their first demos in 2000. Labels were interested, for sure, but the geographic location made the group...
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Open Surgery, Man Alive
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