Get Updates/News. Updates/News by RSS Feed. Updates/News by Email. Get The Community Toolbar. Get The Community Toolbar.
Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.

Man Raze 'punkfunkrootsrock' Track By Track - By DefDazz/Darren



January 2008 seems like a long time ago. Unlike most people that's when I managed to get hold of a copy of the first Man Raze album 'Surreal', and what an album it was. Over three and a half years later we finally get the second album from London's finest. The only question being, will it be as good as the first one?. The answer would have to be - Yes of course it is. What are you, nuts?. But if you would like a little more detail read on.

01 - Over My Dead Body - 3:25

The first song doesn't open the album with as big a bang as 'This Is' but still sets the standard for the quality that is to follow. First premiered by Phil on US radio with an acoustic version, the full studio version does not disappoint. A rocking track in a punky/Rolling Stones-meets 'Armageddon It' type way with a cool main guitar riff. Any track that contains the dreaded handclaps and still manages to sound OK must be a good song. A very immediate song with a catchy chorus that was a perfect choice for the opening song and first single.

02 - I C U In Everything - 3:02

An Intensive Care Unit in everything? what? - dodgy title spelling aside (I'm only joking, honest!) this track was given away free (well, the price is right!) a couple of weeks ago. Very generous considering the quality of the song. A slightly different sound for the band with some deep vocals by Phil and a deep bass effect. As with track 1 this song is also a great single choice and very catchy. The last 30 seconds take off with a brilliant and very euphoric ending. More of Phil's "shouty" vocals. Destined to be a great live track.

03 - All I Wanna Do - 3:48

A slightly slower track with a touch of groove or perhaps Funk (as the album title helpfully suggests). Great guitar work from Phil and a great solo section. Phil's playing seems to be much more melodic and riff based on this abum. Not as much widdly-widdly action going on. It's nice to hear the band play more than just the heavier rock tracks. There's a lot more to their sound which also gets shown on the next song.

04 - Closer To Me - 3:56

A song which was actually first recorded by the band Ziroq in 2001. Released in English and Spanish. Anyone who downloaded the album song samples from the Man Raze website in 2005/2006 would have noticed there was already a Man Raze version of this song. As explained in recent interviews they didn't get the song sounding right until 2011. And here it is. I've always liked the song and it sounds great. A cousin to 'Runnin' Me Up' you might say. As a fan of The Police I really enjoy these type of songs and would like to hear more of them. A really nice song and very good Sting-like bass playing from Simon. Phil also recreates a little bit of Andy Summers guitar sound in certain places which is a nice touch.

05 - Lies, Lies, All Lies - 2:05

So the punk, funk and roots appear to be over with at this point - it's time to rock. Sometimes you can tell a good song just from the title. Glad to see the song is still called 'Lies, Lies, All Lies' and was not shortened to 'Lies' (dodgy press release). A nice up tempo and rocking track that really could have fitted on the previous album. Short, catchy pop-rock that could be described as a typical Man Raze song, and not in a bad way.

06 - Get Action - 3:05

More rock but faster. Another song that reminds you of all the best rockier stuff from 'Surreal'. One of the best tracks on the album. Nice riffs, heavy drums and a killer guitar solo. This will also be a great addition to the live show. The song ends with heavy pounding drums by Paul and more great guitar work by Phil, and bass of course!

07 - Edge Of The World - 5:05

The epic song. I was looking forward to hearing this after the first few sound clips. The drawback of sound samples are they usually sound shit (quality wise) but fortunately if you look around you can find better ones (that's where Japanese sites come in handy). So after a few of weeks with a couple of 45 second clips it was nice to finally hear the whole song (or most of it). This is definitely one of the stand outs of album number two. A mix of the best qualities of the band, a rock sound with atmospherics. Sublime would be a good word to describe this one. This albums answer to 'Spinning Out' but much more epic sounding.

08 - Dreamland - 3:46

A cool opening riff as the song kicks in. This is just a great song. Probably one of their best to date. Another superb chorus and the slower parts really work well together with the faster verses. And like a lot of their songs it takes off again at the end reaching a crescendo. The fast drumming at the end by Paul really sounds great. This track just has a great overall feel to it. Another one to look out for at live shows.

09 - Fire - 3:23

A song that needs no introduction. The band having played it at every live show since 2005. This sounds as good as it does in concert and it more than does justice to the original. Phil obviously has a good track record with cover versions and like Def Leppard, Man Raze make it sound like an original composition. Phil really shines on guitar on this song. Oh and it rocks, the title still applies as we are now deep into the rock part of this record.

10 - I, Superbiker - 3:00

Heavy rock riffing and some remixing. I have to say I preferred the original version of this song but it's still sounds good. Slightly different to the rest of the album having been written and recorded in 2010 for the 'I, Superbiker' documentary movie of the same name. For anyone who didn't think this was up to the high standards of the 'Surreal' album (based on that first YouTube video) you'll be pleased to know this is probably the weakest song on the album. And considering it's still a damn good tune that says a lot about the overall quality of songs here.

11 - Bittersweet - 4:09

A slow and moody intro to the next song before it kicks into a rocking chorus. More of a mid-paced rocker than a full blown one. A nice change of pace at the end of the album and another good mix of styles. A nice song with a great understated feel to it. It leads nicely into the last track. A calm before the storm.

12 - Dogbite (Instrumental) - 4:08

And what a track! Bitchin', if you will (sorry, couldn't resist!). Disintegrate times ten (X) and then some. Another track where the sound clips suggested something special and once more the finished version does not disappoint. An instrumental of epic proportions. Just about everything is thrown into this track including a deep bass sound (like Godzilla stomping on your face). You should probably consult a structural engineer before playing this song loudly with the bass turned up.

It could easily have just been four minutes of Phil going crazy with solos but far from it. This showcases the talents of all three band members with great bass playing, drumming and guitar work all at once. Something I'd like to hear them play to close every concert with if they decide to play it live. One of the best instrumental songs I've heard in a while. A fitting way to close the album and it pretty much sums up the last part of it's title - ROCK!

End Comments

Well, there isn't much to say other than it's another great album by a great band. Once more a great sounding album with excellent production by Ger McDonnell. And if you are a close minded charlatan (I like Def Leppard, I don't care about his other band), frankly bugger off!.

But more seriously, and to sum up, you've got your punk,

you've got your funk,

you've got your roots,

and you've got your rock - what more do you need?. Go and buy it now! You know it makes sense.

By DefDazz/Darren 2011.