"A good friend recently landed me a copy of Man Man's new record, Life Fantastic. Released May 10 on Anti- Records and produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis), this is their finest album to date. While the title might imply an optimistic listening experience, Life Fantastic is filled with tales of regret, failed relationships, death and moving along on the hard road of life. One of my favorite tracks is "Haute Tropique," a demented tale about a cannibal who uses his victims as clothing, upholstery and other home decor. The appropriately titled "Shameless" is a track that really hits home for anyone who has embarrassingly longed for a lost lover. With lyrics like "I want you so bad / I can't stand the man I am," frontman Honus Honus lets his guard down, opens his broken heart and creates one of the most perversely heartfelt records I've ever heard."
(Indie rockers Howling Owls' debut EP, When Tipsy Turns Somber, is available for free download at howlingowls.bandcamp.com. They play Will's Pub 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 with Pseudo Kids and Boswellians. Admission is $4.)