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The Phenomenauts - For All Mankind Album Cover

The Phenomenauts - For All Mankind

Reviewed by
8.0
The PhenomenautsFor All Mankind
Release Date:April 8th, 2008
Record Label: Springman Records

Time to break out your Molly Ringwald posters and slap bracelets because apparently the 80’s are back with a vengeance courtesy of the third full-length release from The Phenomenauts. Some may have already written these guys off as a gimmick. Others have put them in guilty pleasure category. Either way you feel, it’s undeniable that The Phenomenauts are in a world all their own when it comes to crafting early punk anthems retrofitted with a twist of the blips and bloops that made new wave one of the premier genres of the 80’s.

Ok, all of the comparisons to other genres and eras is one thing, but how does a band that seemingly comes from the best days of yesteryear stand up when compared to the highly technical and inventive scene in modern music? Surprisingly, the band holds its own with 3-chord punk and a touch of keyboards. The simplicity is a breath of fresh air in the face of complex time signatures and ever changing song structures. “Navitron” is the celestial bastard child of a lurid affair between The Hives and The Aquabats. The energy might not always be serious, but the amalgam of punk rock and space references fits snugly into the fun category. Sounding like it is straight out of another decade, the raw production lends itself perfectly to the fast paced calamity. The twangy guitar tone and crashing drums are well executed to bring out what was clearly a calculated decision to sound as retro as possible. They might wear their influences on their sleeves, but sometimes imitation is the best form of flattery and a good way to tap into an existing fan base. Remove the keyboards and the bouncy “Into A Time Warp” could have easily landed on a Social D record. The track is a great starting point for new fans of the band due to it’s infectious rhythms and all around accessibility.

With all of the good, there must be some bad right? For All Mankind is not without its faults, but these faults could just be my personal opinion and not the feelings of people who are already fans of the genre (see Aquabats fanatics and sci fi fans). Sometimes the lyrics can be a little to silly for my tastes, but if an endless amount of space references and all around science fiction grandiosity is your thing, you might have found a new favorite band. Also, with all of the advances in modern recording technology, the reverb on the vocals could be toned down a little bit. I get that it contributes to the image and feel of the album, but the consistent reverb can get old after 40 minutes. Also, I can see how the image of the band can lead many to believe they are a gimmick, but is it truly a gimmick when the band fully embraces what they are expressing? Think what you will, but listen to the band and formulate your own opinion. Put the image aside and listen for the quirky catchiness and you might be surprised. It might not be the best or even the most original album in the whole world, but damned if For All Mankind isn’t a perfect start to a fun summer record season.

Tracklisting1. All Go For Launch
2. Man Alone
3. Cyborg
4. Make A Circuit With Me
5. Navitron
6. The Tale Of Europa
7. Heroes
8. She’ll Launch
9. Infinite Frontier
10. Compensation
11. Don’t Overheat On Me
12. Into A Time Warp
13. Science And Honor
14. The Colvin Moon
Listen to The Phenomenauts Myspace | Purevolume | Springman Records Site
This review is a user submitted review from Tom Good. You can see all of Tom Good's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
08:54 PM on 04/30/08
#2
squared82
why burn poor and lonely?
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I saw them open for The Aquabats a couple years back. They're not too bad, just not something I can listen to regularly.
07:35 AM on 05/01/08
#3
HugoR
Audi-O-rgasm
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I really like their sound. I've listened to this new album a couple of times and it's a good CD to listen while riding your car under the hot summer sun. (:
09:12 AM on 05/01/08
#4
Milk_It
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I absolutely love this band! The sci-fi references are part of their charm!

I agree that the reverb was a little much though. Some songs it fit perfectly, and other tracks it almost feels like a mistake.

Overall, good review Tom. I realize that I am a little biased towards this band, but I really think everyone should check them out. You can stream the new album here and see if it is something you'd be into.
09:24 AM on 05/01/08
#5
Mase714
Just a dab'll do ya
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Good review! I'm glad to see rockabilly-style music is getting some attention here. Sadly, I haven't checked this out cause from a song or two I'd heard, it seems they went more nu-wave and dropped the more rockabilly style they had on previous albums. I'll probably still check out at some point. They are hilariously fun live, however.
03:37 PM on 05/01/08
#6
Tom Good
Album Reviewer
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I absolutely love this band! The sci-fi references are part of their charm!

I agree that the reverb was a little much though. Some song it fit perfectly, and other tracks it almost feels like a mistake.

Overall, good review Tom. I realize that I am a little biased towards this band, but I really think everyone should check them out. You can stream the new album here and see if it is something you'd be into.
Well Hello There I can see your points. Fun album though.
06:45 PM on 05/01/08
#7
romantic rights
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I really need to pick this up. I love this band.

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