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Album Review - Man/Miracle: The Shape of Things

Album Review - Man/Miracle: The Shape of Things

Man/Miracle’s debut album The Shape of Things sold out of its first pressing rather quickly when it was originally self-released by the band towards the end of 2009. Now The Shape of Things has received a proper release thanks to the Bay Area label, Third Culture Records.

The Shape of Things has an admirable diversity, the 10 songs vary enough to all sound unique without sounding like 10 different bands. The four members that make up Oakland’s Man/Miracle are somehow able to shift the energy and intensity of their songs effortlessly, drawing you in for the quiet moments only to explode into an engrossing rhythm moments later. Songs like “Above the Salon” and “Pushing and Shoving” lean on the dancier side of indie rock, while songs like “Up” and “Back of the Card” mix afro pop and Talking Heads into some weird and catchy fun. Not to make The Shape of Things sound too light, there are definitely times when this record gets intense, aggressive, and even dark.

Lead singer, Dylan Travis, heads the diverse musical landscape with a strong and intriguing voice. His vocals can be rather easy going in the more straightforward moments of the record, but once the music intensifies his voice surges with energy, adding a haunting and enthralling narrative to the songs.

There is definitely a substantial afro and David Byrne style pop influence to this record, something that has become popular recently in the indie rock world (i.e. Vampire Weekend). However, Man/Miracle definitely makes it their own, bringing a healthy amount of dirt, grit, and raw energy to the mix. A talented group of musicians and an impressive debut album!

The Shape of Things is out now on Third Culture Records. Man/Miracle just finished up a tour with Rogue Wave and play Milk Bar on May 20th.

-Glenn Jackson

Published: May 08, 2010 |

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