08 June 2009
by Luke Morton
When looking at their credentials, Man Raze sound like what could be a ‘mini supergroup’. The band are Phil Collen (vocals/guitar) who currently plays guitar in legendary rock outfit Def Leppard, Paul Cook (drums) who is founder member and former drummer of the Sex Pistols and finally Simon Laffy (bass) who has been a long time friend of Collen and a member of Collen’s pre-Def Leppard band Girl.
This then should pave the way for an outstanding rock record as it features members from two of the most influential bands of all time. In many ways it is, but not to the degree which is hoped. Debut album Surreal is basically a punkier take on 80s rock with a slightly modern angle, which is what you’d expect really.
The album kick starts with ‘This Is’ which takes elements from Leppard’s simple style of rock & roll but just isn’t as catchy in terms of lyrics. The music is what makes the album, chunky riffs and guitar solos aplenty with some punk drumming thrown in for good measure. Yet it still doesn’t feel like it’s as good as it could be.
Watch the video to ‘Turn It Up’ by Man Raze
Never quite deciding on a definitive style, tracks are rarely too similar. Whether it’s the reggae fused ‘Runnin’ Me Up’ or the stadium guitar rock of ‘Skin Crawl’, the album does have something for everyone. Collen’s vocals sounding very similar to that of Dave Grohl, it could be argued they’re just an imitation Foo Fighters and very middle of the road – but Man Raze still have the potential to go further.
The track ‘Connected To You’ shows Man Raze at their tightest and there isn’t an ounce of amateurism in their work, two out of the three having multimillion selling albums under their belts. Similarly with album closer ‘Shadow Man’, with a classic sing along chorus surely to be a crowd pleaser at Download this year. Surreal is a great album for anyone wanting to branch out, but don’t expect pure gold from these rockers just yet.
Sounds Like: Foo Fighters, Stone Gods, a punk-rock Audioslave
Top Tracks: Connected To You, Skin Crawl, Shadow Man
Man Raze – Surreal tracklisting
Turn It Up
Runnin’ Me Up
Every Second Of Every Day
Can’t Find My Own Way
Connected To You