New Wave Of British Baseball Heavy Metal is a ludicrous album and Macmanaman are a ludicrous band. They start with the questionable premise that insanely fiddly prog rock/post-rock was ever a desirable thing for music to be in the first place, and then decide that it could be improved by removing all the quiet-loud and slow-fast dynamics from it in favour of playing it nonstop at maximum speed and volume, like a band who have three hours of material to get through but only an hour before last orders at the bar.
You’ve got to admire their dedication to the cause though, as they rampage through the six tracks that make up this album, averaging just over ten minutes apiece. The first wailing rock guitar solo comes in about three minutes into the opening AKIYAMAxBASEBALLxEXPLOSION and by five minutes there are two guitars going at it in tandem, full-bore Yngwie, stroking each other to the first in a seemingly endless splurge of climaxes. Meanwhile, the drums are clattering away according to a complex pattern of their own and the bass is a lonely pole of utter composure at the centre of the swirling, ecstatic prog bacchanalia around it.
And that’s a big part of what makes Macmanaman such an appealing band. They make music that is undoubtedly thoughtful and carefully composed but at no point let the complexity and intelligence that underscores what they do interfere with the blissful, unrelentingly joyous athletics of their performance. Yes, the whole conceit that drives the band is insane, but at the same time, why the fuck not?