Top critical review
24 people found this helpful
on 3 July 2007
I hadn't heard Man in many a year, until last w'end when I got talking to a friend's partner who's a total hardcore Man-fan - turns out they're still gigging, but now its mostly their sons playing (which I rather liked). As a lad I saw Man gradually climb from support act to big names in their own right (hailed as "Britain's [not Wales'?!] Allman Brothers" in a '73 Melody Maker coverstory). Starting off as West Coast Wannabes in the vein of Quicksilver, Man were a great alternative to the increasingly dominant Heavy Rock sound of the UK scene. Man were indeed 1 of the best live acts of the time. I saw them untold times, culminating in the Roundhouse Cipollina gig (see Maximum Darkness). Long hair, denim jackets,greatcoats, flares & "plimsoles" thick hash fug - you were definitely at a Man gig... Always used to like their Glasto '72 side + Rhinos, Winos & Be Good sets hugely.
Alas, sometimes the past is best left undisturbed. I've given this 3 stars for being music I once loved (& there's clearly still big love for Man out there, judging by the reviews of their other albums). But, tbh, "Keep on Crinting" demonstrates just why Man are the classic example of a group blown out of the water by the advent of punk & a changing musical/social climate. Of course Man have their moments - "Spunk Rock", "C'mon" - but too often promising trax are let down by weak vocals ("Silks'n'satins" dire CSN attempt, for example) or incredibly dated widdly synth breaks (too many offences to mention). There are times that Man soar - but just as often the music reverts, autopilot-style, to stodgy Brit Blooze or pub rock. Sensing the changing climate, Man did manage to get their songs a bit shorter by the time of Slow Motion, but it was already too late. Man were always abt great live shows, where vocals/lyrics were a chore to be got thru a.s.a.p. so the real work of extended stoner guitar jamming could take over. I'm sorry to be so negative abt music I used to love. There's nothing wrong with the album, as such: it does what it says on the label. And good luck if you are still going, guys...