February 5, 2014

Man's Gin - Rebellion Hymns

Written by Aaron Sullivan.

Man’s Gin return with their second album, Rebellion Hymns. This is the side project of Eric Wunder. One half of the amazing Black Metal band Cobalt. But those looking for Black Metal look else where. This is band exploring the genres of Rock, Country, Americana, Blues, and Folk all mixed up into what becomes Man’s Gin’s sound.

As I expressed in my year end list that this album made. Man’s Gin’s first album Smiling Dogs is among my all time favorites. It hit me like a ton of bricks musically but more importantly lyrically. The album got me through some rough times in my personal life. The lyrics spoke to me as if they were written for that exact moment in time with what I was going through. The lyrics from Nuclear Ambition 1&2 especially. The line "So sinners unite, the sloven and weakened. If you’re beaten or broken press on frustrated." was inspiration and still brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. So when hearing there was to be a new album, I was excited to say the least.

Immediately with the opening of Inspiration you know it’s Man’s Gin. What is also known very early on is that unlike the raw, almost live feel of Smiling Dogs, Rebellion Hymns finds the band spreading their musical wings. The piano, upright bass, and acoustic guitars are all there, but how they exist in the songs is much fuller and not as straight forward. The addition of instruments like accordion, harmonica, melodica, and sax (provided by the great Bruce Lamont) all point to the eclectic nature of this album. The other difference is how each song stands on it’s own. No two sound alike, but still have that Man’s Gin feel. Whether the Tom Wait-ish Off The Coast of Sicily, the almost metallic Old House (Bark at the Moonwalk), or the ambient interludes, they do their best to never repeat themselves. The album also features vocal appearance from Jarboe and the other half of Cobalt, Phil McSorley.

The word that comes to mind when hearing this album is expansive. While the first album sounded as though you were in the rehearsal room as the band played, this one feels like a band that knows what it is capable of and wants the world to hear it. All while never losing it’s raw personal feel. Not a an easy task to accomplish. But then Man’s Gin is not an ordinary band.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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