taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of the moment

MAN FOREVER Pansophical Cataract

There reaches a point on both tracks of Man Forever’s latest offering

Pansophical Cataract when the sonic pressures created by Oneida sticksman Kid Millions and company become overwhelming. The monolithic sound exploration finds its reason for being in Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, but it’s a sort of What If? where Reed chooses drums as the engine instead of guitar. There’s amazing tensile strength in the steady pitter-patter of the precisely tuned toms that form the sonic foundation to both songs, though. Their highly specific tuning allows for a harmonic, but arranged marriage of sorts with other instruments to occur at imprecise points within the lifespan of both track — groaning guitars at 5:35 on “Surface Patterns” and snaky bass at 8:36 on “Ur Enternity.” The end game in both, however, is an undulating tonal mass that asserts it has been consuming empty space all along. The album is not in any way a casual listen; rather, it’s one that demands every ounce of attention through all of its 37 minutes to fully appreciate. Note that enjoyment remains mutually exclusive. As with almost all avant garde music, the former remains possible without the latter.


Man Forever will perform Pansophical Cataract in its entirety at Krankies this Wednesday with Mark Shue, Jay Dunbar and Ryan Pritts.

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