Man or Astro-man? – Defcon 5…4…3…2…1 (2013)
Man Or Astroman? are a band I definitely don’t listen to enough. The surf-punk quartet from Alabama have been in the game since 1990 and this is their 8th album.
While surf may have had its heyday in the 1960s, there has been a revival of sorts since the 1990s with, for example, Los Straitjackets, Messer Chups, The Mermen, Space Cossacks, Satan’s Pilgrims, Atomic Mosquitoes, etc. Man Or Astroman? incorporate punk and electronics seamlessly to create a sci-fi surf sound. With the inherent retro sound of surf, this approach tends to evoke cult B-movies, and exotica.
This album represents a return to studio for Man Or Astroman?, their first album since 2000’s A Spectrum Of Infinite Scale, and it is also a stylistic change as well. Where A Spectrum Of Infinite Scale was really quite an experimental album, Defcon… is a more restrained album. The electronics are still there; most prominently on the five Defcon tracks. On the whole, it is more streamlined and more restrained, a more alt-rock sound overall and nowhere near as kitsch.
So, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, it depends on what you are after. I prefer the experimental nature of A Spectrum Of Infinite Scale, and Defcon… doesn’t quite live up to that standard, fun though it is.
Favourite tracks: Communication Breakdown Pt II, Defcon 3, Defcon 1
Spotify link: Man Or Astro-Man? – Defcon 5…4…3…2…1