Reviews \

Man Man, ‘Life Fantastic’ (Anti-)

By: Spencer Kornhaber // May 10, 2011

Beneath his band’s blizzards of ragtime rhythms, tropical melodic bleats, and Fenway Park organ lines, Man Man frontman Honus Honus has always babbled and grunted a remarkably well-drawn sorrow. On their fourth album, these Philly primitives further emphasize the pathos in their Gypsy frenzy. While string-gilded klezmer ballad “Steak Knives” and steamrolling six-minute confession “Shameless” plod well-trod territory, the mod-pop swing of “Piranha Club” and the wry, multi-suite cabaret of “Oh, La Brea” place Honus’ self-loathing in a refreshing, no less bizarre, light.