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Man Man - Rabbit Habits Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 7.25
Lyrics 6.5
Production 7.75
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 6.75
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 71%
Member Ratings
Vocals 5.42
Musicianship 5.42
Lyrics 5.33
Production 4.75
Creativity 5.17
Lasting Value 5.17
Reviewer Tilt 5.75
Average: 53%
Inside AP.net

Man Man - Rabbit Habits

Reviewed by: Tom Good (04/13/08)
Man Man - Rabbit Habits
Record Label: Anti
Release Date: April 8th 2008

Everyone’s favorite pirate rockers, Philadelphia based Man Man, are back with the follow up to their critically acclaimed and superbly weird previous full length Six Demon Bag. As with the last album, the band fails to conform to well…any semblance of what is popular in the music scene. Trading guitars for keyboards and xylophones and silky smooth voice for one with a burly swagger, Rabbit Habits is certainly one of the more unique albums you will hear this year. This fact is the album’s strong point but is also what might stand in the way of appearing credible to a larger demographic.

It’s extremely tough to categorize Man Man. How do you place a band that changes with every song? If you haven’t heard them, one listen is probably all it will take to test whether you like them or not. Love em or hate em, they have a pretty characteristic sound. Much like Six Demon Bag, Rabbit Habits is all over the genre map, sometimes blazing new ground on its journey. One minute you will have doo wop vocals with a solid locomotive drum beat and the next minute you will be bombarded with the kookiest grumblings this side of a Disney World ride. More so than their last album, Man Man remains at a fairly upbeat tempo throughout Rabbit Habits. “The Ballad Of Butter Beans” rolls along with some of the best xylophone playing of the year under almost completely indistinguishable vocals. The lyrics the band utilizes do not always make sense but the confidence with which they are delivered makes up for the wacky subject matter. The haunting vocals on this particular track create a strange atmosphere when combined with the walking keyboard lines. The title track shows the minimalist side of the band, using just a subtle horn and keyboard instead of their typical smorgasbord of instrumentation. The change in pace is welcome after the insanity preceding it, showcasing a slightly more accessible side than the circus like first half.

All of this originality is great but the question remains of when weird turns into too strange to take the band seriously. I am all for being different and coming up with your own sound, but for every great moment on Rabbit Habits there is one that is tarnished by strange interjections of sound. “Hurly / Burly” is a thumping dancy number that grabbed me from the start…until what sounds like children screaming enter the picture during the climax of the track. Bizarre sections like this take you out of the moment for long enough to laugh at what is coming through your speakers. Having listened to the band, I’m accustomed to this sort of thing, but at what point does it just ruin the mood? Many times, these moments are successful, but unfortunately it is hit or miss a lot of the time as well. At their best, Man Man is a fun listen when you are tired of the ordinary. Whether this quirky act will be seen as anything more than a gimmick to the masses for an extended time remains to be seen, but damned if they don’t make some interesting rumblings along the way.

Tracklisting1. Mister Jung Stuffed
2. Hurly/Burly
3. The Ballad Of Butter Beans
4. Big Trouble
5. Mysteries of the Universe Unraveled
6. Doo Right
7. Easy Eats Or Dirty Doctor Galapagos
8. Harpoon Fever (Queequeg’s Playhouse)
9. El Azteca
10. Rabbit Habbits
11. Top Drawer
12. Poor Jackie
13. Whalebones
Listen to Man ManAP.net Profile | Myspace | Anti Records Site
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
11:05 AM on 04/13/08
#2
Scott Irvine
Your Virtual Pnin
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Good album. Six Demon Bag still owns me, though.
11:12 AM on 04/13/08
#3
Tom Good
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Good album. Six Demon Bag still owns me, though.
Me too!
12:16 PM on 04/13/08
#4
newfoundmichael
@SirDaveyBoy
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I loved Six Demon Bag too, but this is just amazing in my opinion.

My album of 2008 thus far. I was going to review it if no one else did.
03:08 PM on 04/13/08
#5
tm decomposer
KEMBA WALKER 4 PREZ!!
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Pretty good album. I enjoyed the review.

The singer reminds me a lot like the wrestler Andre the Giant. lOl.
03:23 PM on 04/13/08
#6
Tom Good
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Pretty good album. I enjoyed the review.

The singer reminds me a lot like the wrestler Andre the Giant. lOl.
I cracked up at that.
06:23 PM on 04/13/08
#7
Blake Solomon
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I think I messed up and saw them live before having heard anything recorded. Six Demon Bag was ok recorded, but great live (not to mention exhausting). Haven't heard this yet, but I might still. Good review.
11:28 PM on 04/13/08
#8
Blakebear
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Going to see them this weekend with Yeasayer...

totally stoked!
04:01 AM on 04/14/08
#9
Tom Good
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I think I messed up and saw them live before having heard anything recorded. Six Demon Bag was ok recorded, but great live (not to mention exhausting). Haven't heard this yet, but I might still. Good review.
They are so much fun live. Yeah, I can see how they would be pretty disappointing after a live show like that.
08:20 AM on 04/14/08
boykosaurus
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this may not make any sense, but I feel like this album would be good to play during the summer when I'm on my roof and pounding beers. As I would progress into drunkeness the album changes quite well.
09:26 AM on 04/14/08
Neptune
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I still think their first album is their best but they are all such assholes I have trouble giving their albums a chance when they come out. I got the first one before I knew who they were.
10:00 AM on 04/14/08
flash_gorton
Not Ever Or Anyone
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I love this album, They put on a great live show last year when they opened for Modest Mouse.
10:48 AM on 04/14/08
dbleck23
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Behind Muse as the best live band i have ever seen
11:31 AM on 04/14/08
myplasticyou
the future is x-rated
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yeah these guys are totally crazy live. saw them at siren festival like 2 years ago
12:04 PM on 04/14/08
notoaststereo
they knew exactly what happened.
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i saw them live opening for Modest Mouse. they were awesome.
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