Mike Watt, 'hyphenated-man' (clenchedwrench)

Critical Mass
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Label: clenchedwrench

by David Menconi

Even when he's getting in touch with his inner Stephin Merritt by indulging all manner of high-concept, rock-opera cleverness -- yes, every song title is hyphenated -- Minutemen/Firehose alumnus (and current Stooge) Mike Watt still believes in skronky brevity as the soul of punk-rock wit. There's no narrative thread to hyphenated-man, just 30 hit-and-run tunes on which Watt holds forth about Beatle barf (don't ask), "man-shitting-man" (who knows?), etc. His beat-poet spiel is more character-actorly than ever, but hyphenated-man is also more accessible than you'd think, thanks to Watt's skittery bass lines.

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