Playboy Manbaby Lets Loose!!!

It was a rum soaked night when I first witnessed Playboy Manbaby immediately upon walking in to Long Wong’s and I stood there stunned, mouth agape for a good half hour not sure if I could believe what I was seeing. I was with a friend who doesn’t get out to the music scene very often and he was stunned as well and kept prodding me with questions like, “Who the hell was that? Can you find out who that was? Have you ever seen those guys? Will you find out who they were?” That was the night I met Robbie Pfeffer and discovered the band that had instantly blown my mind was Playboy Manbaby. I had heard the name around and about, but had never seen them–and that night they were on top of their game, I couldn’t have had a better introduction to their music and performances.

At first it didn’t make sense to me that they would share an EP release party with North Dakota until I heard the records back to back and somehow it made perfect sense. This four track gem is just a pure treasure of fun, filled with surf guitar and plenty of the weirdness their live show assured. In almost a classic sense, a production voice begins by saying “Take it away Robbie….” And indeed Robbie Pfeffer takes it away, at times half-rapping at other times sounding like he stepped out of the 1980s new wave scene with cues from the B-52s. Yet again another band in this town creates something completely original and exciting enough to simply tease your brain into loving it, every note, every unexpected movement. This band is completely unpredictable at every turn and that’s what is going to make it incredibly exciting watching their progression from here.

“Betty Blanca” is the lead off song and should be a single as quickly as possible—it’s Fred Schneider meets surf guitar and it’s pretty straight forward and ultimately amusing. It’s after that song, though that Playboy Manbaby really gets down to who they are and how they sound in the absolute madness that is their live show. The back to back affront of “End Of Time” and “Pulsating  Cities Of Geckos” really brings to light not only the mad, speed delivery of Pfeffer’s vocals, but also the musical apocalypse going on behind them—the horns, the keys, the synths and strange sounds, it’s all here. I was sure this was imagined in my remembrance from the many less than sober experiences I had seeing them live, but no, it was not my imagination, this was their sound on stage and on record and it’s completely out there, wonderfully out there, where no one else would even fear to tread. That’s a mark of greatness or insanity and ultimately that’s for the listeners to decide. It’s probably a little from column A and column B. The finale of “Triangle In  Space” brings it all to a close as dark as the opener was obsessively manic. Turns out I like my greatness served with a nice dose of insanity.

Since I first saw them, I’ve now seen them many times and there are rumors that the band will re-emerge after summer break, perhaps with a slightly different lineup which will be great to see. My dream show, well the one I’ve been thinking of all summer after Pfeffer turned me onto a ton of bands I hadn’t heard of before, would be Doctor Bones, Playboy Manbaby, Rough Tough Dynamite, Dogbreth and either Diners or TA-80 or both. That would be an insane vibe and I just want to find the right venue for that gig, because it would be insanely fun.

Listen to the entire Playboy Manbaby EP Here and Download it for as much as you’d like to pay

(An edited version of this article appeared in the April 2012 issue of JAVA Magazine)

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