“Six Demon Bag” starts with a very Western-sounding piano backing up a set of vocals that have to be linked to Frank Zappa. The overall sound of the track is very Spartan, but I would be damned if the band is not tremendously interesting throughout the track. “Six Demon Bag” is not necessarily an album of singles, but really acts as if Man Man had an idea on their mind during the entirety of recording this album at the studio.
During songs like “Engrish Bwudd”, Man Man show that they have been tremendously influences by previous periods in music, and put forth a sound that is linked inexorably to the twentieth and thirties. Everything is eminently ready for the radio, but for Dr. Demento instead of the local Top 40 station. This is the speed-addicted cousin of acts like Gong and Momus and the intelligent cousin to Americana hacks like Vetiver and Devendra Banhart. The overall circus like atmosphere of that comes into dominance during “Engrish Bwudd” gives “Six Demon Bag” a catchiness that cannot be immediately taken out of a listener’s mind.
Each track on the disc allows Man Man to approach a different set of influences and find new ways to ensnare their listener. For example, there is a very Italian meets Indian type of sound to “Banana Ghost”, as what sounds like a mixture of accordion and flute flitters over the oi polloi of vocals on the track. Of course, there are tracks in which a noise approach dominates; hints of Men’s Recovery Project and Racebannon come through during “Young Einstein on the Beach”. If an individual does not like this album, they are simply not allowed talking. This is due to the fact that it is so far removed from anything else that is currently being created in current music, and it is done well. In fact, the album is so great that individuals can find some commonality between the music that they listen to and Man Man, regardless of what type of music they claim to listen to. For those fans of They Might Be Giants, there are songs like “Skin Tension”. “Six Demon Bag” is the equivalent to a compilation with a theme, with the only exception being that all of the tracks on the disc are done by one act. Also unlike a compilation, there are no weak tracks to pass through before getting into the meat of the disc.
Top Tracks: Black Mission Goggles, Engrish Bwudd
Man Man – Six Demon Bag / 2006 Ace Fu / 13 Tracks / http://www.wearemanman.com / http://www.acefu.com / Reviewed 25 April 2006