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Friday, September 10, 2010

Man - Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In?

This was the album that put Man on the map. They are Welsh’s answer to the Grateful Dead while they found their sound and appreciation. The follow up to their third album, Man in 1970, finds the group getting a cognitive condition that was well-informed and perceptive. While they are one of the most underrated cult bands to come out of Wales, Do You Like It Here Now Are You Settling In? Released in 1971 is a perfect combination of bringing: Pub Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Country and Blues sound to the mix throughout the six tracks that you’ll hear from start to finish.

Starting the album off is the country rocker Angel Easy, a raunchy down home upbeat groove that the listener would enjoy dancing to rather than The Eagles Lyin’ Eyes. The chugging rhythm section along with the late Micky Jones bluesy riffs that he brings to the band as Deke Leonard does his Bob Weir vocalization on the track. You can tell that they are a team working together creating magic as it segues into the quirky progressive/psychedelic cartoon homage to the Robert Clampett-era of All Good Clean Fun which sounds perfect blasting from the stereo and synchronizing to an old Bugs Bunny cartoon from the ‘40s.

The instruments are having a quirky sense of humor including a wah-wah guitar sound that is a bouncy lift and the time changes is a home run, but what follows next is more of the psych sound that takes a jump from their first two albums. We’re Only Children, is very much a swirling 8-minute composition that goes right into the moody 12-bar psych waltz and Hendrix-esque sound. It takes us to a new dimension in the ambient prog atmosphere that realms of the first two minutes into a soaring instrumental and then turned into an early session of Yes’ Time and a Word-era for the last 4-minutes as Micky goes into a warp speed sound on the guitar solo.

The guitar sounds very emotional and sometimes heavy at first as he goes leads like if he’s leading the listener to the world of dreams and then it becomes a militant folk chugging sound that closes the album. How good can Man really be? Then it becomes very well organized on the fan and live favorite from their set, Many Are Called, But Few Get Up. They bring the Dead sound on the number which even though the prog compositions are thrown in very well, it makes the listener’s fly through the sky and jam with the group for a groovy session.

As you are reaching to throttle through the cosmos of space acoustic pub blues of Manillo, includes an eerie lyrical background while the guitar is going through a leslie speaker that makes it sound very dark and very disturbing as the piano and shattering electric guitar go through a dramatic role as they take turns to solo and making it sound like Pink Floyd’s Fat Old Sun. Do You Like It Here concludes with the 9-minute Love Your Life, a twisted prog rock avant-garde African tribe sound at first with the backward tapes going faster and then turned into a wild experiment by turning it into jam session of John McLaughlin meets Jerry Garcia as they duke it out in the ring to have a crazy freak-out guitar jam session in the mind of Jones and Leonard.

Listening to this album, Do You Like It Here, Are You Settling In is a twisted yet magnificent album that always wanted to take a mind-control tripped out journey that will take you to a wonderous adventure. This is one hell of an album that you need to buy if you are interesting hearing Man’s music. The bonus tracks feature three live versions of Many Are Called But Few Get Up, Angel Easy, and the dazzling live version homage to a country bluesy rock metal sound of Led Zeppelin for 18-minutes of Romain. Esoteric Recordings deserve a lot of credit to go through Man’s catalogue and they did one hell of a job reissuing the album from all of it’s glory for the Man freaks to listen to.

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