Goofin’ on a cosmic stew of Devo and Link Wray, Man or Astroman? are the B-movie surf-freaks that time forgot. Four slicked-down ’50s throwbacks in regulation Ray-Bans, they jerk and stutter through each of their flotsam-flecked instrumentals like dropouts from some long-lost sci-fi picture.
Hailing from, they claim, the “Grid Sector” (which, in Earth terms, roughly translates as Atlanta, Georgia) MOA‘s muse is a deceptively simple beast – a lurching, spluttering thing that doffs its deely-boppers at Gene Vincent‘s sweet rock’n’roll, while secretly getting its shorts in a twist over the robot-sex machinations of prime-time Kraftwerk.
What’s more, in the world of the Astroman, reality – to all intents and purposes – is a heinous villain to be bound, gagged and bundled in the back of the nearest Chevy. Hence, any discernible between-song banter is exorcised in favour of hilarious, snip’n’paste snatches from the [I]Outer Limits[/I] handbook (“When you wake up tomorrow,” announces the Astro-dude known as Coco, “you will remember nothing”) while their stage set-up is pure 50s cheapo schlock – all fuzzy cathode rays and [I]Plan Nine [/I]polystyrene.
Their bare-faced geek schtick may occasionally err towards Weezer territory, but there’s still enough gleaming fizz-pop invention in MOA‘s jet-pack to power the next mission to Mars. The past has never sounded so bright.