Sunday, December 11, 2016

Man - 1974 - Rhinos,Winos & Lunatics

Man 
1974 
Rhinos,Winos & Lunatics




01. Taking the Easy Way Out Again (4:22)
02. The Thunder and The Lightning Kid (5:17)
03. California Silks and Satins (4:41)
04. Four Day Louise (6:04)
05. Intro (0:45)
06. Kerosene (6:30)
07. Scotch Corner (9:04)
08. Exit (1:23)

- Micky Jones / guitar, vocals
- Deke Leonard / guitars, piano, vocals
- Malcolm Morley / keyboards, guitar, vocals
- Terry Williams / drums, percussion, vocals
- Ken Whaley / bass



For their seventh studio album, Man once again revised their line up with a former member returning, new members arriving, and others leaving. This perhaps contributes to the lack of identity on this 1974 release. While Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker was brought in to tighten up that side of things, the album was written and recorded with indecent haste, driven on by an absurdly tight deadline.

The dominant felling is of country or west coast; certainly far more American than Welsh. Three of the tracks on side one are loud, abrasive affairs with frankly average singing. "The thunder and lightning kid" features some Caravan keyboard sounds, while "Four day Louise" belts out a straight rock number with a repetitive guitar hook. The exception is "California silks and satins", a rare soft CSN influenced harmony piece.

The second side consists of just two long tracks, book ended by a brief "Intro" and "Exit". "Kerosene" has echoes of fellow countrymen BUDGIE, particularly in the high vocals. The track features some fine keyboards and wah wah guitar in a pleasantly laid back arrangement. The CSN vocal harmonies here sound rather out of place but are kept short, the track being dominated by the extended instrumental sections.

"Scotch corner", named after a road junction in North East England, is the longest track on the album. The country guitar rhythm of the opening section is reminiscent of Harry NILSSON, the track sounding similar to the work of HOME from a few years earlier. Lead guitar features heavily on this driving but ultimately unexciting number, the sound at times becoming rather muddled and unfocused.

While "Rhinos.." is not the sort of album which is ever going to win any top album awards (outside the band's own environment anyway), it is an enjoyable diversion. It represents the band well in terms of content, containing as it does largely second division songs which are adequately performed. There's little hint of prog though, the band remaining well within their comfort zone.

Incidentally, the papier-mâché Rhino featured in the sleeve picture was imprisoned in the equipment room where the photo was taken, apparently having been built too big to fit through the door.

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