Man or Astro-man? | 07.16.14

live man-or-astroman_75

This is the stuff good club gigs are made of.


Firebird, St. Louis

The aliens have landed! Wednesday night saw the return of cult classic Man or Astro-man? to STL. It has been 10 years between releases, and now the kings of surfer science rock are back. Touring behind their latest release, Defcon 5…4…3…2…1…, the band was welcomed by a small but happy crowd.

The problem with such an artist is they are primarily instrumental. While there are some vocals, like on the new track, “Defcon 5,” the band falls into a rut early on, as everything starts to blend together, making for a monotonous sound. Visually, the band is inspired by old sci-fi films and antiquated electronics. Backed by large screens onto which odd visuals were shot, the three-man, two-woman group donned space uniforms on stage, putting one in mind of a sci-fi convention. The show is definitely high energy and they play their instruments well. However, with a genre like surfer rock, the tunes tend to bleed together, thereby creating monotony after a while. Yet, the trained ears of the audience jammed as MOA? made the beach bleed.

Also on the bill were Sallie Ford and Wray. Wray, who hail from Birmingham, Ala., are an eclectic mix of ’80s new wave and ’90s pop punk. Reminiscent of The Psychedelic Furs and Concrete Blonde, their set was powerful and they proved themselves to the audience. I expect we will hear more from them very soon, so keep an ear out. Sallie Ford, an all-female, four-piece band, mixes angst-filled rock with a surfer-ish tone. The result is power-surf-pop that made this Portland, Ore., band a great compliment.

This is the stuff good club gigs are made of. A fun night at a cool venue. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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