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Man Raze: Surreal

If Def Leppard had continued on the musical path it began with Slang, that band probably would sound something like the curiously named Man Raze which features one-fifth of Def Leppard in vocalist/guitarist Phil Collen. It also boasts bassist Simon Laffy (Collen's ex-bandmate in the glam band Girl before he joined the Leps) and former Sex Pistol Paul Cook on drums. With a sound bridging punk and arena rock, the trio plows through a dozen songs in less than 40 minutes free of the constraints that held them back in their other bands.

That said, the similarities between Man Raze and Def Leppard are undeniable. Collen has absorbed years of working side by side with Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott, his edgy and raw voice taking on Elliott's latter-day nuances and delivery style. Punk urgency ("This Is") meets sing-along fun ("Turn It Up"), while the reggae-soaked "Runnin' Me Up" reflects the adventurous nature of some of Def Leppard's recent material. The mid-paced "Every Second of Every Day" hearkens back to late-Eighties stadium rock, and "Connected to You" even manages to invoke Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Each song on Surreal is a real surprise.

Let's face it, Man Raze had the potential to be a disaster: Three aging egos taking a goofy name and mixing influences that, on paper at least, seem dead on arrival. And let's not even discuss that ugly cover of rust. Instead, take Surreal for what it is: an unexpectedly rewarding album by musicians who still feel the need to honor their past while blazing into the future. Here's hoping they record a second album before that flame dies.

Track Listing:
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
8) Low
9) Connected to You
10) Halo
11) It's Entertainment
12) Shadow Man

Added: August 13th 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Man Raze Web Site
Hits: 1670
Language: english

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