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MAN Kingdom Of Noise Point Records/Voiceprint (2009)


Bit of a quandary this one, as classic Man I love, but this new album has no original members. And between solo projects and ill health, many a member has come, gone, come back again and gone for good. No Jones, Williams or Leonard, but the band is currently led by bassist / vocalist Martin Ace (who has been in and out a few times, even joining The Motors for a while), and is augmented here by guitarists Josh Ace and James Beck, drummer Rene Robrahn and long time keyboard player Phil Ryan. People come and go so regularly in Man that the line-up actually changed during the album's recording.

There's more of a prog / mainstream rock to the opening number or two, with some excellent guitar work. 'Iceflowers', mixing electric and acoustic guitars, features a serious nod to their west coast roots.

'Russian Roulette' features a nod to the blues and, with a big brass and keyboards sound, soul. The guitar trade-offs and off-beat rhythms are worth checking out though.

Ace's bass does stand out, as do many songs. There's a broad range of styles all with a quirky 60s whimsicalness.

More of an Ace solo album than classic Man, but worth a listen anyway.


Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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