Review: Man… or Astro-man? – Defcon 5…4…3…2…1
National Music Reviews
Man… or Astro-man?
MOAM? = Sun Ra + Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet + The Quadrajets
This album marks the first time since 1997’s Made From Technetium that Alabama’s favorite sci-fi/surf combo has put out a record with original guitarist Star Crunch. Crunch is joined by original members Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard, Birdstuff and new guitarist Avona Nova. The sound and feel of Defcon picks up right where Technetium left off, and pairs this heavy instrumental style with the vocal-heavy sound of the 1000x EP (also from 1997). Their veneration of ’60s surf music and irreverent, intergalactic chatter is in full swing. “Arc,” “Disintegrate” and “New Cocoon” each feature an incredibly solid lead vocal. “Antimatter Man” and “Communication Breakdown Pt. II” do what MOAM? is known for—pairing crushing rock chords with driving surf beats and solid bass work, peppered with an occasional sample. It’s a vintage-sounding MOAM? recording, but much more powerful, with less shtick and more balls. –James Bennett