A lockdown pastime turned 11 track DIY album reveals an unfiltered expose of queer love in isolation. Four instruments, two ‘gay-bears’ and several states later, self-titled debut MAN ON MAN is born.
Boyfriends Roddy Bottum and Joey Holman are due to release the first album from their pandemic-induced venture, MAN ON MAN May 7th. Each track is self-produced and released via Polyvinyl Records (Of Montreal and Xiu Xiu), plus indie-rock label, Big Scary Monsters (Modern Baseball and Jamie Lenman).
Both having performed since the 80s, and Roddy being the drummer in Faith No More and Imperial Teen, guarantees that the music stylings will tick boxes and rouse rock veterans, but it plays a greater purpose than its contribution to Alternative Pop/Rock. Above all else, MAN ON MAN (M.O.M) is reinstating their positions within the LGBTQ+ community on behalf of all overlooked, slightly older, slightly hairier queer individuals. Oh, and the vinyl comes in hot pink!
Up first, somewhat ironically, is ‘Stohner’: a lo-fi, post-grunge track taking its, somewhat expectedly, sweet-time at six minutes. The chords are soaked with grungy overtones and the accompanying video drizzled with 60 pounds of honey. Next is ‘Daddy’: a sex-positive, guitar-heavy tune with subversive and frisky lyrics, “I took a ride to your house, I pulled your shorts down”. Outrageously, yet par for the course with LGBTQIA+ content, YouTube was quick to pull down M.O.M’s music video for supposedly “violating sex and nudity” policies. After the suits apologised earlier this year, Holman described the experience as ‘jarring’, confused they spent time ‘combing through our video trying to understand how it was so much more different than a lot of other content that’s on there.” After viewing the Re-uploaded version on Vimeo, I struggled to see what the big deal was
Heading back to New York from LA mid-pandemic, the duo detoured to Princetown and proudly wrote track three, ‘It’s So Fun (to Be Gay)’. A catchy celebration of the 90s queercore rebels and the present-day community renegades who now occupy the space. The fifth track, ‘1983’, is a homage to, you guessed it, 1983 and its sexual identity, barred from dating apps and reliant on “glorified danger, anonymous encounters, and sex positivity.” Brandishing their defiant humor (namely the immediate, “I got to thinking about sucking you off” introduction), M.O.M wields ALL four instruments throughout 1983 to reclaim the punk-rock spirit akin to that of Pansy Division and Dinosaur Jr.
Ending resolutely with ‘It Floated’, softly reminds listeners that the catalyst for M.O.M, being lockdown, was not without its troubles. Lyrics like, “I don’t know what day it is” invites us back to a bygone moment in history when our day-to-day structures consisted merely of routine befuddlement and vacant stares. Nevertheless, the concept behind MAN ON MAN is brazenly authentic; its lyricism both satirical yet relatable, and as a plus, the pair patently adore one another. Though I am not pining for another lockdown, I am eagerly awaiting more releases from this unmatchable match.
Man on Man’s self titled debut is released this Friday via Polyvinyl, and is available to pre-order and pre-save now.