With their recent single still inciting mischief and bad behaviour, Arizona post funk punksters Playboy Manbaby have just uncaged their new album Don’t Let It Be, eleven tracks of creatively nefarious goodness infesting body and spirit.
The union of You Can Be A Fascist Too and I’d Like To Meet Your Parents was a devilish punk riot of a single leaving greed part of appetite and anticipation awaiting the band’s third album. The Dirty Waters/Lollypops Records released Don’t Let It Be soon shows that the Playboy Manbaby sound is broader than ever, bigger than an elephant’s backside in flavour and sound. Having caught up with their previous full-lengths in Bummeritaville and Electric Babyman, both released 2014, that variety will be no surprise to fans but their successor has really gone to town in adventure and diverse fun to truly leave all before it in the shade.
The Phoenix hailing sextet of Robbie Pfeffer (vocals), Chris Hudson( bass), TJ Friga (guitar), David Cosme (trumpet), Chad Dennis (drums), and Austin Rickert (sax) have become a big deal locally and across their homeland, shows alongside the likes of Mike Watt & The Missing Men, King Khan & BBQ Show, King Khan & The Shrines, Rocket From The Crypt, Thee Oh Sees, Cosmonauts, The Spits, Black Flag, The Descendents, The Replacements, The Slackers, and Teenage Bottlerocket to name just a few, pushing their reputation as potently as their sounds. Now having been already tenderised by the last single, global attention is surely poised to embrace Playboy Manbaby and Don’t Let It Be. Justice is never a given of course but neither do anything to deter that expected and deserved embrace.
You Can Be a Fascist Too gets the revelry going, a surge of guitar jangle and bass throbbing swiftly joined by the slightly derange and excitable tones of Pfeffer. Spicy melodies and tenacious riffs almost barge into each other as the garage and punk essences of the track bound through ears, salacious harmonies sparking thoughts of UK band The Tuesday Club. For less obvious reason, The Tubes also come to mind a little too as the song stomps around like a belligerent pup, its raw power pop punk quite irresistible.
The zeal pumped diversity quickly comes to the fore with the following Last One Standing, brass instantly flirting with ears with saucy flames as the bass swaggers with deceptive innocence. There is an agenda at play; an intent to turn the listener into a physical puppet and there is no escape for feet and hips to the virulent lures of the rhythms and grooves teasing and taunting within the ska kissed funk escapade. The earnest screwy tones of Pfeffer again are sheer magnetism as too the evolving dark bait pulsating out of Hudson’s bass.
The outstanding track is quickly matched by the even livelier dance of Bored Broke And Sober, its catchy jazz funk garage punk as loco as it is skilfully woven to lure untied bodies. Hooks are as flirtatious as rhythms, every fondling by and flash from the Friga’s guitar ear chaining rascality, and the whole song as those before slavery.
Cadillac Car saunters in next, its low slung groove temptress like as vocals dance with drooling expression of defiance and attitude in the garage punk crawl before Self-Loathing In Bright Clothing throws its post punk/punk tendencies into the ring. A few blows short of a brawl, the track springs its creative agitation with infection loaded enterprise creating a rough and ready tango of fiercely captivating Reuben meets Dead Boys like provocation.
The sultry flirtatious garage r&b of Cheap Wine and the scuzzy pop punk of Popular bring body and soul to the boil again, the latter like a raw Mighty Mighty Bosstones in some ways while I’m So Affluent slips in with a slinky grace as noir lit air hugs skittish rhythms and vocal suggestion. Jazzy with a dark indie jangle recalling The Jazz Butcher, the song quickly blossoms its dark rock ‘’n roll into another majorly bewitching moment within Don’t Let It Be, one with an increasingly tenacious bounce complete with band calls just impossible to be left out of.
That indie sound fills next up Oprichniki too though as all songs it soon shows a jumble of spices and styles in its ballsy pop with Don Knotts In A Wind Tunnel straight after engaging in dirty rock ‘n’ roll with a certain Rocket From The Crypt fever to its irritable bawl and brass igniting flames. For us it is joy to be unable to pin a sound down, this pair alone showing Playboy Manbaby get just as big a kick from defeating any attempt whilst pleasing their own devious imaginations.
Dark rock ‘n’ roll brings the album’s closing treat of White Jesus to ears, its meandering stroll and creatively incisive accosting portrait of a certain new world leader initially Nick Cave/Tom Waits like before ending as a concussive explosion of Dead Kennedys toned ferocity and bedlam.
The last Playboy Manbaby single set up anticipation for Don’t Let It Be perfectly but barely hinted at the bold inescapable fun and adventure to be found, both which will be hard to find any better on any release across the rest of the year too we suspect.
Don’t Let It Be is out now on CD through Dirty Water Records and cassette from Lollipop Records @ https://lollipop-records.myshopify.com/products/playboy-manbaby-dont-let-it-be-cass with its digital outing available @ https://playboymanbaby.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 03/03/2017
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