On Oni Pond by Man Man on Apple Music

13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

It may have been hard to decipher amid all the yelping and yearning of its last four LPs, but Man Man has been through a lot of lineup changes over the past 10 years. Which says a lot about why the band's tightest record yet also happens to be the only one that revolves around the band's longtime linchpins: drummer Christopher "Pow Pow" Powell and singer/keyboard-slammer Ryan "Honus Honus" Kattner. Here they play off each other's strengths—strangled Beefheart-isms, sucker-punched percussion, hooks that are weird and wooly yet ultimately quite wonderful—while keeping Kattner's track-attacking tantrums to a minimum. The pair emerges with a remarkably varied set of songs that distill its influences down to a decidedly strange brew. So while the shake, rattle, and wail of "Pink Wonton" is the Man Man "sound" personified, it's an outlier in a record that makes a point of stretching out stylistically, whether it's through rimshot dub rhythms ("King Shiv"), a straightfaced guitar solo ("Pyramids"), or a reverb-padded ukulele ("Deep Cover"). Here's hoping Powell and Kattner can keep the good ship Man Man stable from this point on.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It may have been hard to decipher amid all the yelping and yearning of its last four LPs, but Man Man has been through a lot of lineup changes over the past 10 years. Which says a lot about why the band's tightest record yet also happens to be the only one that revolves around the band's longtime linchpins: drummer Christopher "Pow Pow" Powell and singer/keyboard-slammer Ryan "Honus Honus" Kattner. Here they play off each other's strengths—strangled Beefheart-isms, sucker-punched percussion, hooks that are weird and wooly yet ultimately quite wonderful—while keeping Kattner's track-attacking tantrums to a minimum. The pair emerges with a remarkably varied set of songs that distill its influences down to a decidedly strange brew. So while the shake, rattle, and wail of "Pink Wonton" is the Man Man "sound" personified, it's an outlier in a record that makes a point of stretching out stylistically, whether it's through rimshot dub rhythms ("King Shiv"), a straightfaced guitar solo ("Pyramids"), or a reverb-padded ukulele ("Deep Cover"). Here's hoping Powell and Kattner can keep the good ship Man Man stable from this point on.

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0:39
3:19
4:12
4:25
5:06
3:25
3:03
3:54
3:34
3:50
5:37
1:03
3:43

About Man Man

Based in Philadelphia but also spending time in New York, Man Man formed with members Honus Honus (vocals/synthesizer), Tiberius Lyn (drums), Clint Killingsworth (bass), and Steven Dufala (guitar/trumpet). Man Man made their album debut in 2004 with The Man in a Blue Turban with a Face, and Six Demon Bag followed in 2006 with Lyn replaced by new drummer and songwriter Pow Wow (Chris Powell). As they established themselves over the next few years, the eclectic quartet welcomed Brown Sugar (Adam Schatz) and Shono Murphy (Bryan Murphy) to their line-up after the exit of Killingsworth and Dufal, and played shows with artists such as Cat Power, Adam Green, Mirah, U.S. Maple, Aereogramme, Need New Body, and Bardo Pond. Over the course of 2008’s Rabbit Habits, 2011’s Life Fantastic, and 2013's Oni Oni Pond, the band segued into a more standard pop approach without compromising its bizarre musical style. ~ MacKenzie Wilson

  • ORIGIN
    Philadelphia, PA
  • FORMED
    2003

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