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Man - Anachronism Tango (SCD)

Genre:
Release Date: 26th July 2019

Label: Point
Catalogue Number: PNTGZ109CD
Price: £9.99
Available: In stock


Man - Anachronism Tango

 

To a band like the Man band- who've existed since 1968 in almost as many differing formations as their hometown football club Swansea FC, playing to a fiercely devoted following yet always remaining (some might say voluntarily) outside the mainstream- the term "anachronism" could not be any better suited. 50-plus years on, there really is no other band like them- and like a fine wine, they improve yearly with age.

That said, it still occasionally helps to cross the existing strain with a fresh infusion- and to that end, the current lineup, helmed by veteran bassist/vocalist/leader Martin Ace (in and out between 1970-77, constant since 1983) and keyboardist Malcolm Morley (early-mid 70s vintage) has benefitted greatly from the input of the considerably younger Josh Ace (guitar, vocals) James Beck (slide guitar, vocals) and Rene Robrahn (drums- occasionally replaced on tour by Shane Dixon) All three have been mainstays since the 2000s, and their exuberant positivity over that time has noticeably recharged the group's collective batteries, resulting in a series of disarmingly contemporary-sounding releases of which Tango is the latest. And a fine addition to the ever-growing canon it is...

Across its ten tracks, there's not one single filler. Ace Sr's regular bouquet of instantly recognisable styles and influences (doom-laden prog on Holy Flame Of Freedom, 12-bar boogie rock'n'roll on Isaac Newton's Gravitational Shuffle, harmony beat group balladry recalling the group's predecessors The Bystanders on Chains Of Sleep, Buddy Holly on To Sing Rave On) juxtaposes perfectly with his offspring's more Americana/indie-inflected compositions Too Much Too Soon and Halfway Up The Hill: elsewhere, the jointly-composed epic-length twisted nursery rhyme Manor Farm recalls the jam-band spirit of such perennial classics as Spunk Rock and the late Deke Leonard's legendary centrepiece 7171-551. Indeed, you can just imagine it stretched out to similar lengths in a live setting.

Most noticeably of all, the album never once sounds like the work of an aged, veteran act- each track adds an energetic modern twist to their trademark pot-pourri of blues, hard rock, powerpop and West Coast psychedelia, whilst simultaneously respecting the manifold elements of their great heritage. Other than Gong (who these days feature no members from the 70s) and possibly Sweet ( who feature only one) I can think of no other outfit of the same pedigree that can still achieve that balance quite as convincingly: regardless of who's in the band by the time of their next studio outing, long may that limeage continue. Maaaaaaan!!!

DARIUS DREWE

 

 

 



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