Review

In the 1990s, Man's Ruin earned a reputation for loud, in-your-face rock and thrived on heavy metal, alternative rock, stoner rock, and punk. Brant Bjork's Jalamanta was a surprising departure for Man's Ruin in that the Bay Area label had never before put out anything so funky and R&B-influenced. Combining psychedelic rock and soul/ funk, this unpredictable effort has strong late-1960s/early-1970s leanings -- think War, Buddy Miles, and early Funkadelic, and you'll get an idea where singer/guitarist/drummer Bjork is coming from on such items as "Waiting for the Coconut to Drop," "Automatic Fantastic," and "Too Many Chiefs...Not Enough Indians." There are also hints of California's Mexican-American rock innovators from the Baby Boomer era -- one gets the impression that Bjork has spent time listening to Santana and might be hip to El Chicano and Azteca as well. This is an interesting and chance-taking, if uneven, CD that fans of experimental rock and soul will want to search for. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi

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