November 2013 National Music Reviews

Review: Man Man – On Oni Pond

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Man Man
On Oni Pond
ANTI Records
Street: 09.06
Man Man = Captain Beefheart + Tom Waits
Man Man is one of those bands that nobody “kinda likes”—you either love it or hate it. We recognize the band for their ability to carve inexplicably aesthetic rhythms with a dynamic of makeshift percussive instruments condensed with frontman Honus Honus’ cathartic squawking. Unfortunately, in On Oni Pond, longtime fans can certainly notice the band becoming more tame and tired. The most potent concentration of the band’s frenetic energy can be found on “Pink Wonton” and “Born Tight,” which are considerably more lethargic when compared with average in-betweens off of older albums, but gain a poppy anthemic appeal. Now, this doesn’t mean On Oni Pond isn’t worth its weight at all angles—it’s still a decent album, just more graceful and conventional sounding. Groups like Man Man can only slice quirkiness so many different ways before the music either becomes painfully weird or just normal. –Gregory Gerulat
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