Surf Rock Music Because It Rocks

The Grinning Man: Watch Where You Point That Thing

The Grinning Man: Watch Where You Point That Thing
eg music - surf rock music reviews by Emma Jade Gunn
Watch Where You Point That Thing
Review by: Emma Jade Gunn

My, my, my. Where are you pointing that laser? Planning to blow Mars out of orbit? Or are you just blowing Em out of the water with this delish CD? Hmm. Let me think on it. Both!

The Grinning Man band is hot enough and transcends time and space enough to blast a planet or two into the fifth dimension. (That would be the place, not the band - which is a whole different story having to do with Kenny.) You've heard the legend of the grinning man, haven't you? He's a UFOlien! Dude is really tall, wears a shiny green bodysuit and smiles like he just got through munching a few earthlings for a late night snack. Well, that's a different Grinner than the guys on this CD, thank the stars!

So you ask, who are the raymen on the Watch Where You Point That Thing CD? What about the musicliens who made us look where they're pointing that laser? Why, they're the Men in Black Sabbath, Duke Ellington and Frank Zappa Influenced Musictude, that's who! Seriously! Can you imagine what wonders are to be woven by a foursome who embraces the diversity of such dynamic musical fantasticness?

The Grinning Man: Watch Where You Point That Thing Smile, baby, smile because I have four guys who are going to psychedelically surf you into some heavy funkalicious jazzy stuff that will make your lips freeze like Sardonicus!

J.D. Stalter - Guitar
Matt Knoy - Bass / Vocals
Craig Swendsen - Keyboard
Mike Swartzentruber - Drums

Get a load of that insert. No, it's not a problem with our scanner. It's The Grinning Man warping the space-time continuum from another dimension. Would I lie?

Step right up, folks. The Grinning Man is pointing that thing at YOU! Check these tracks out:

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Occam's Razor, Now with Five Blades - We all know the story of Occam's Razor, right? You see, once upon a time a Franciscan friar, I call Billy (it was William, but really?), said to choose the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions. Having five blades is better than one, so I'm with The Grinning Man on this theory. There are some fine guitars on this track. In fact, I could head bang to this song and, if I had a brain to assume with, I would knock Billy out of the stratosphere. Well, here's a heuristic for you: The Grinning Man band dudes one-upped old Billy of Ockham and probed space for a far-reaching sound that will plant you in orbit. And that's a fact, Jack!

In Search of The Chupacabra - Wahoo! An anthem for cryptozoologists! How cool! By the time you hit the one minute mark, In Search of The Chupacabra is richly inquisitive enough to make you believe in goatsuckers and razorbacked things that go bump in the night. Then our Grinners lighten it up a bit so we can all sit back and say, "Whew! It was my imagination!" But wait, is it? At 3:09 we begin to wonder. Is it out there? Is it coming to me? ME? Quick, get all the goats in the house because I can't see if the menacing dog thing is going to get me or not. Is it going to puncture my little goaties? The slightly heavy drums are absolutely incredible - they hit you and make you do a double take without being in the least bit overwhelming. Now THAT'S how to rock, loves! That is how to rock!

Go Go Gadget Funk - I'm sorry, but it has to be said, "I'm M.A.D. about making Gadget funky!" I have a huge love for The Grinning Man just because of this song! I want to be Inspector Gadget and, when I manage it, I want to implant a device in my head playing Go Go Gadget Funk over and over again. Of course, I won't be clumsy. Okay, I will, but I will be funky clumsy so I'll still be cool. The keyboards give this track a feel of delightful deviousness which is exactly what any great detective needs. The boys in the band must have a billion gadgets attached to their bods to score such a superb treat for our ears.

Doctor - This ain't no Bones on Star Trek song, no sir. Forget Dr. Kildare, too, although this track is so thickly rich it could be the theme song if anyone ever writes a movie called Dare to Kill. Ah, is there a Doctor in the house? A Doctor Who came to right wrongs and save the world? Yes! Yes! Who is the Doctor Who would make the cut! Listen to those guitars! They regenerate me, that's for sure! Yes! Doctor Who is in the house. Come to think of it, House would go for The Grinning Man, and Doctor, in a big, big way, too.

Black Hole - Imagine, if you would, the Boy Wonder lolling on a couch, face mask askew, drawling instead of perking, "Bam. Bang. Pow. Holy world sucker, Greenman. There's a Black Hole out there." Robin never raises his voice or darts across a room, just sits and smiles with a que sera nod. That's what Black Hole does for you. It captures you and you don't care if the world is disappearing so long as the song keeps playing. The extraordinary musicianship at 2:08 blew me away. Here's the skinny, brah, when you see your shadow you are in superduper superhero superdrumming superguitaring land ... and those keys? Wowsers. Look into the darkness; it will look into you. Oh, and take the advice of The Grinning Man and be careful how you look or you could become a monster. Just saying...... Black Hole can trick you into thinking you belong in that darkness.

Find and Destroy Atlantis - The ominous drums and guitars opening Find and Destroy Atlantis tell me this mermaid is in trouble! Are they really going to strand me in the deep abyss by torching Atlantis? I know they can, of course, because The Grinning Man is so HOT they could easily ignite a whole city even though it's under water. Do you hear the Siren's panicked calls at 2:20? I do! There's a reason they call those wailing police alarms sirens and it's because this band made this song. Seriously! Some time traveler came into today, listened to Find and Destroy Atlantis, decided to go back in time, then named police alarms sirens because those poor sea critters were scared the laser was going to get them. I'm pretty sure that's a true story. Sirens, mermaids, watered down whales and scurrying stingrays are all headed for the reef, dudes!

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As for you and me? Well, let's just put this CD back on loop and hang out. We can dance. We can dream. We can scream. How about doing all that and more? The Grinning Man is on the loose ... and I'm inviting them to the party! Watch where you point that thing, dear! Like the band, it's dangerous to ignore!

The Grinning Man: Watch Where You Point That Thing

01)  Occam's Razor, Now with Five Blades The Grinning Man 2:23
02)  In Search of The Chupacabra The Grinning Man 6:30
03)  Go Go Gadget Funk The Grinning Man 5:03
04)  Doctor The Grinning Man 3:46
05)  Black Hole The Grinning Man 5:16
06)  Find and Destroy Atlantis The Grinning Man 2:57

Recorded by Scott Rottler
Mixed and Mastered by Chris at The Music Garage

The Grinning Man

Emma Jade Gunn
Review by: Emma Jade Gunn
© Emma Jade Gunn 2013
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