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Manflu - Joys Of Life

by DavidBeech
DavidBeech
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on 16 June 2014 in Albums & EPs
Release date June 16th
Rating 8/10

Man Flu

Three years ago, if you would have handed me the debut album from London art-punks Manflu there would have been every chance I wouldn't have made it past the first track, such was my predisposition towards anything remotely left-field. Thankfully though, whilst university didn't seem to teach me anything remotely transferable to the “real-world”, the three years I spent in social limbo did teach me to appreciate a far wider range of music, and Man Flu's Joys of Life is the most recent album to earn said appreciation. Opener 'Wizard' is a tumultuous, anarchic affair, built around short bursts of angular guitar and frenetic drums; singer Aza's yelped and screeched vocals providing further abrasion. It isn't all off-kilter and obtuse however, 'Holes' drips with a silky darkness, before morphing in to the kind jam one might expect to hear from Amanda Palma, if she was inspired by the movies Sergio Leone and the essays of Michel Foucault. Ultimately it's a record that seems to exude a post-modernist vibe, at times leaning towards pastiche, whilst at others taking itself more seriously than most. It's this dichotomy that makes the record what it is, schizophrenic yet captivating, hard to crack but brilliantly rewarding when one does. It's also not a record for everyone, but often the best aren't, and for anyone with an interest in the art-punk movement, it comes highly recommend. For those who want something less challenging and somewhat more pedestrian however, I recommend you give Joys of Life somewhat of a wide berth. How about settling down with the new Coldplay record instead?

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