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Rhythm & Views

Man Or Astroman?

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IT'S TEMPTING TO take the high road, separate this band from its shtick and just talk about the music--the punishing guitars, detonated drumming, hyper-charged energy, intelligent production, crack musicianship and painstaking craft. After all, 10 releases into its career, the band can hardly duck judgement against the highest standard for its sound alone.

But what fun is that? Song titles like "Multi-Variational Stimuli of Sub-Turgid Foci Covering Cross Evaluative Techniques for Cognitive Analysis of Hypersignificant Graph Peaks Following Those Intersubjective Modules Having Biodegradable Seepage" say as much as any string of adjectives endeavoring to answer the enigmatic musical question: Man or Astroman?

Is it instrumental geek rock? Or is it a sly-smart parody, poking a surfboard into gossamer pretensions of space-age, indie-rock cyber-cyphers?

In the end it doesn't matter. If you've never seen the band live, or heard the amusing legend that has it emerging from a spaceship somewhere in Alabama, which is to say if you just heard it for the first time when A Spectrum of Infinite Scale, say, burst forth from some p.a. in the lunchroom, it would rock your tats off.

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