O.B. James 1 p.m., March 7
I Make You Look Like Movie Star
4) Spencer's Accordion
5) Expiration Dates
9) Cambodian Hairdresser
11) The Candy of All Meats
13) We Have Control
This is a new wave album. In case you're not old enough to remember it, new wave is that early-'80s sound that is predicated upon and driven by the intent to irritate the listener.
Manganista isn't so much Devo-style new wave, but more like Oingo Boingo. I Make You Look Like Movie Star offers high-pitched vocals over a range of percussion instruments, fronted by a synthesizer.
The subjects of the songs are all over the place. "Spencer's Accordion" is about a kid's accordion. The songs "Mediocrity" and "Entertainment" are about the trappings of modern life. A couple of tracks and the cover art are about Cambodia. (I'm guessing the album title has to do with the "Cambodian Hairdresser" track.)
It's not that Manganista is a bad band; the instruments are played well. But what I hear is an alternative soundtrack for the chase scenes in Mannequin or Weekend at Bernie's. The only thing that is awful about the music is the singing. It is whiny and annoying.
If you remember new wave and are of the rare few who liked it and didn't want to slap those who played it, then Manganista is your band.
--- Hometown CD Review 9-28-06