Review Summary: An album that will always stand tall among the hordes of rebellious punk.
Man is the Bastard contributed the name of Power Violence to the music world. For those that care enough, that is their legacy. This is very unfortunate because this album is not just "that one small influence." This album is so much more, it is an amazing input in the story of music. It so desperately deserves your listen because you will never hear anything like it.Â*Today we rejoice in a hardcore band for the ages, an album that will always stand tall among the hordes of rebellious punk in measure of sheer originality.
Man is the Bastard
Sum of the Men "The Brutality Continues..."
Man is the Bastard became active in 1990 in Claremont, California. As far as we are concerned with this album, the lineup comprised of Henry Barnes, Joel Connell, Shawn Connell, Aaron Kenyon, and Eric Wood.
This band is pretty much a set of musicians using their instruments in very unusual ways to screw with you. The vocals constantly shift from really powerful grunts to inhuman gargle screeches. Â*The bass guitar takes the stand as primary instruments using really thick, crushing chords. Forget what you learned about bouncy slap bass, this Â*is a completely original method of screwing with you. The guitars are not always present and use pretty weird custom configurations that, once again, screw with you with weird loops and swirls that you really could never have heard before. The drums compliment the bass, being as crushing, beating out really good builds to the big bat swing you'll receive when the bass attacks you. Many electronic noises has been added to screw with you even more. If you did not get the picture by now, this ensemble is really going to screw with you.
As mentioned above, the sound is really screwed up, but it is also really crushing. Doom is definitely in there in some way shape or form, though its focus is mainly on scaring the crap out of you. It may just be one of the scariest albums I have ever heard. It takes no breaks. Even the sole comedic song on the album, I Can Sense Your Cheese, is scary as hell.
This album is full of tracks (32 in total). There is no standard song structure, every single one varies in speed from a slow crushing vortex of death to a fast bludgeon fest. As short as 8 seconds of quick death to 10 minutes of sadistic torture. From your typical heavy hardcore tracks to trippy spoken word tracks and noise music. I tend to see this album as 4 sections. The first section starts with Freak Machine. This is the greatest bulk of the album and it is pretty much all hardcore. The next section would start with Man. This was a really risky move as for 12 to 13 minutes, there are no songs. Rather a series of screaming only tracks with some backing noise music. This might not ring well with a lot of people and is the reason why this album is not a classic. I think they are really made well and are as scary as all the other tracks on the album but it is just too controversial a choice and not many people I assume will enjoy such a long period of such tracks. After that, starting with Sensory Perception Overload, the hardcore tracks come back with a full supporting band to accompany the vocals you just heard screaming alone for quite some time... They even thought they would giving you a break from the gruesome vocals by throwing in a few minutes of instrumentals. And finally it tops off with a conclusion section, three intense Noise tracks that really put a good end to the album.
This band created a large tree of bands from genres varied as experimental rock, folk, progressive rock, and more hardcore-type music due to its members splitting off. But the pinnacle of said tree is right here in Sum of the Men. Happy (isolated and scared as ***) listening.