This wasn’t the LP I was going to listen to today, but after spending 5 hours in the freezing cold watching my daughter play a hockey tournament I wanted something to warm me up tonight. Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom …And You? is a two-fisted, punk/metal brawler from 1990 which never disappoints me, or lets me down – with a 10 songs / 25 minutes ratio, it was always going to be something I loved*.
Now I understand The Dictators historical significance and I have always found Handsome Dick Manitoba an entertaining character, but I’ve never thought much of their LPs, I do confess to liking Manowar, particularly in a musicianshippily (possibly a new word) way and so the idea of Ross The Boss featuring on this one, with Mr Manitoba was a winner for me. Chuck in the song titles: Haircut and an Attitude, The Party Starts Now!!, Speedball and Had it Coming, good clean, punchy production and gang shout vocal choruses and you have an absolute sure-fire winner. I mean, come on, the LPs opening couplet is:
Stop that whining ‘coz you’ve had a bad day
If you lost some weight you might get laid
and the beauty is that this really is as deep as it gets throughout. We get some lyrics about how shitty, but great New York is (New York, New York), drugs ruining your life (Had it Coming), how great drugs / alcohol are (Speedball / DWI), love, lust and sundry other teenage concerns. At it’s best (The Party Starts Now!!, The Perfect High, Speedball) it just rockets past, leaving you in the slipstream to either follow, or spin-off the track and let’s face it, if you’re not so keen on a certain song, by the time you’ve processed those thoughts you’re onto the next one anyway. My favourite listening to this again just now was ‘Haircut and an Attitude’ which incorporates both irreverence from the Beatles and wholesale theft of the riff from AC/DC’s ‘What Do You Do For Money Honey?’.
As with most things involving Handsome Dick Manitoba, I could have done without the usual liberal-baiting that goes on – here it’s using a Nazi recruitment poster as your LP cover, yes I know that his real name is Richard Blum, but in the final analysis that doesn’t make it any more acceptable really does it? still, let’s just ignore this and just celebrate a really good LP, nothing deep, nothing meaningful, just a blast.
There’s nothing else to write, just time to spin it once more before bedtime.
*I do love short LPs, and I do think the invention of the CD has a lot to answer for even beyond mere aesthetics, musicians don’t need extra space and time, they need limits and barriers to force the best out of them and to ensure that only the strongest ideas survive. When I’m king, no LP will be allowed to be longer than 40 minutes without royal assent, with the exception of a select coterie of certain artists who will be allowed a life time exemption from this decree.