This release sees Man rely less on the Hammond and harmonized vocals, and more on hard-driven guitar. Its compositional ambitions are perhaps a bit greater -- it opens with "Prelude" and "The Storm," an extended jam that became ever longer and even more free form over the years as a concert favorite. "It Is as It Must Be" circles around the monster groove of a two-chord guitar vamp, while "Spunk Rock" struts over a jagged floor of overdriven guitar and yelped vocals. If nothing else, both the song and the album can be said to live up to their names.
Micky Jones (vocals, guitar)
Deke Leonard (vocals, guitar, 1968-72, 1973-76)
Terry Williams (drums, 1969-76)
Clive John (keyboards, 1968-72, 1972-73)
Martin Ace (guitar, 1969-72, 1975-76)
1 (i) Prelude (ii) The Storm 12:18
2 It is As it Must Be 8:27
3 Spunk Box 5:45
4 My Name Is Jesus Smith 4:03
5 Parchment and Candles 1:51
6 Brother Arnold's Red and White Striped Tent 5:04
Man seems to be a band that was always changing styles. They seem to mostly stick with a hard rock guitar sound on this album, sort of British hard rock blues meets West Coast psychedelic guitar rock. They still make a few detours though, which is a good thing in adding a little variety to the riffs. The opening epic "Prelude/The Storm" does a pretty decent space rock style with piano and other sonic textures. "My Name Is Jesus Smith" is kinda silly, but the band sounds strong on the country-rock styling.
Although the band had always done a good job of handling vocal harmonies, the lead vocals on the hard rock material I thought left a lot to be desired, sounding weak and dated. It's admirable though that the band had a do-it-yourself attitude about their music (despite areas of weakness) and fan-base. This seems a bit similar to contemporaries Hawkwind, whose hard rock/space rock style seems a relevant comparison to this album.
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)