Release Date: 17th November 2008
As is often the case, the most exciting and inspiring new music regularly comes from the most unexpected of sources. You see, Man Raze is not your average debut artist – they are a band whose members have already achieved multi-platinum sales worldwide in previous guises but are going back to their roots in the form of a straight up rock three piece.
Man Raze is:
Phil Collen (vocals/guitar) – Phil joined Def Leppard in 1982, and with band mate and best friend Steve Clark was able to create the bands highly influential and incredibly successful trademark dual guitar sound. Def Leppard have sold over 60 million albums world-wide to date. 20 years on from the release of their seminal “Hysteria” album, the band are fresh out of a sold out UK arena tour and critically acclaimed new album “Songs From the Sparkle Lounge”.
Paul Cook (drums) – Founder member and mainstay with one of the most influential bands of all time – the Sex Pistols. The band’s 1977 album “Never Mind The Bollocks…” has launched a thousand imitators and is constantly name checked by generation after generation of musicians. Paul Cook has also played with the likes of Johnny Thunders, Edwyn Collins and Greedy Bastards (alongside Phil Lynott and Scott Gorham) and is currently back touring with The Sex Pistols.
Simon Laffy (bass) – long time friend of Phil Collen and member of Collen’s pre Def Leppard outfit Girl. Simon handles the bulk of Man Raze’s production duties also.
“Surreal” is a band at its very best. From the punky punch to the face opener “This Is” to the dub tinged “Runnin’ Me Up”, from the pop fused “Every Second Of Every Day” to the angular guitar rock of “Skin Crawl” (originally a limited edition single in late 2005), from the dirty riffage of “Turn It Up” (already used extensively across ESPN sports channel) to the mid tempo ballsy chorus of album closer “Shadowman”, Man Raze is much more than a sum of its parts. Freed from the expectations of their former (or current) outfits, the band can play whatever they like. The sound is truly eclectic – a mix of the classic and contemporary influences that have shaped the individual members as musicians – From the Police and Trojan Records through to Bowie and Nirvana. All recordings are self recorded and produced.
Already given a critically acclaimed release in the USA, the UK album will come with a special European edition bonus disc. The bonus disc will feature 5 previously unreleased tracks – You’re So Wrong, Low live in Burbank 08, Turn It Up (Deep Dub), Runnin’ Me Up (Instrumental Dub) and Can’t Find My Own Way – Live Acoustic (Gary Crowley show).
Man Raze are set to tour the UK in late 2008
Wed 3rd Dec Manchester Roadhouse 0871 2200 260
Thurs 4th Dec Birmingham Barfly 0844 847 2424
Mon 8th Dec London, Barfly 08444 771 000
Tues 9th Dec London, Water Rats 08700 600 100
Tickets are priced £9 (London £10), subject to booking fee. Tickets available through Barflyclub.com (both Barflys), Gigsandtours.com (Manchester) and Ticketweb.co.uk (Water rats). Doors will be at 7pm. Man Raze will be onstage at 9pm.
Surreal is the debut record of super group trio, Phil Collen (Def Leppard) Paul Cook (Sex Pistols) and Simon Laffey (Girl).
My first thought going into this record was, how much of Def Leppard’s sound will be mixed into this record. Much to my surprise, not as much as I thought. Yes, there are a few Leppardisms here and there, but this is a completely different sounding record. Surreal is more of a pure rock record, and an eclectic mix of styles.
On Surreal, I hear a blend of punk, pop, hard rock, and reggae. It is a fusion of styles that make this one of the more interesting records as of late.
The song writing is somewhat simple, but it is catchy. The songs get in your head, and stay there.
Some of my favorite cuts are Turn It Up, Every Second of Every Day, Skin Crawl and Halo. These aren’t the only good songs by any means. There really isn’t a bad cut on this disc.
Not only is Phil Collen an outstanding guitarist, but he is pretty damn good in the vocal department. His vocal style is similar to Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott. The chemistry between Cook, Collen and Laffey is quite apparent, and it shows in the music. The songs are upbeat and fun to listen to. Not only do I hear Def Leppard’s influence, but I also hear a Police vibe in some songs.
The bottom line, I have been thoroughly enjoying this disc, and I think you will to. Surreal hits stores on June 3rd. Don’t miss picking this one up!
Rating:Out of 10
1. This Is
2. Turn It Up
3. Runnin’ Me Up
4. Every Second of Every Day
5. Spinning Out
6. Can’t Find My Own Way
7. Skin Crawl
9. Connected to You
11. It’s Entertainment
12. Shadow Man
Man Raze is:
Phil Collen – Guitars and Lead Vocals
Paul Cook – Drums
Simon Laffey – Bass