Bassist Mike Watt — a third of Eighties hardcore-punk band the Minutemen, now in the Stooges — calls this album an "opera." He's right. The 30 tracks are blitzkrieg arias, sung and barked as if Watt is playing the shards of his heart and mind after a lifetime in the van ("Finger-Pointing- Man," "Hell-Building- Man"). His new trio reinvigorates the old one's rapid minimalism with the glass-bone guitar and rhythmic vertigo of Captain Beefheart's classic Magic Band. Loss is a constant presence on Hyphenated- Man, along with the memories left behind. "Forget? Fuck that, man," Watt snaps in "Confused-Parts-Man." "Learn from it."
From The Archives Issue 1128: April 14, 2011