“Showgirls” – Man on Man
For all its fuzzy noise and punk-ish simplicity, “Showgirls” moves with a light touch and a welcoming vibe. The vocals, although filtered, feel personable, while the parade of two-part, closely contained melodies gives the ear an easy hand-hold into the squawky soundscape’s controlled hubbub. A sense of things simultaneously coming together and falling apart is underscored by a set of lyrics that are concise but pretty much unintelligible, a series of sometimes suggestive phrases (“You gotta use spit/If you wanna get used to it”) without any sense of narrative or setting. Whatever is specifically going on, it appears to be a good time, and we seem to be invited along.
Guitars make their presence known quickly and noisily, providing a wash of background buzz from the start, but it’s the instrumental break starting at 1:51 where they really break out, with a squalling six-second opening moment that deserves an extra pat on the back.
Man on Man is the duo of Roddy Bottum, best known as keyboardist for the band Faith No More, and his partner Joey Holman. What started as a pandemic-based lark has solidified into an ongoing endeavor. “Showgirls” is a track from their second album, Provincetown, which comes out next month on Polyvinyl Records. It’s one of a number of songs from the album that were written in and/or inspired by its namesake locale, at the tip of Cape Cod, with its longstanding history of LGBTQ+ respect. As the band’s name implies, Man on Man is not only open about their sexual orientation but they appear ongoingly delighted to celebrate it. We would do well to be delighted on their behalf, as it takes an insecure and/or bigoted pinhead to believe that diversity of all kinds is anything but a planetary blessing.
MP3 via KEXP.
photo credit: A.F. Cortés