The Misremembered ’90s: ManBREAK, “Ready Or Not”

20 May

When Kasabian’s first album came out in 2005, we all thought they were original and huge and powerful and important and all that stuff.

Well, if you ignore the douchebaggy “comeON, comeOn!” at the top of this track…. it’s basically proto-Kasabian.

There really was a time – from roughly 1997 through 2001 – when white dudes thought that every single piece of recorded music, needed a vaguely hip-hoppish “comeON, comeON!” somewhere in there.  Didn’t matter what you were doing.  Rap, rock, punk, folk, everything.  “comeON, comeON!”    Somehow, we thought this was acceptable.  There’s probably recordings of the Boston Pops out there where Keith Lockhart is heard jumping up and down, waggling his baton threateningly at the crowd on the Esplanade, going “comeON, comeON!”  And he’s probably wearing baggy khakhi shorts while he does it.

Moving past that, this isn’t a bad song.  I saw ManBREAK once –  it was 1997.  The writing was on the wall for “alternative music.”  Headlining the show was Live, in their waning Secret Samhadi days, at exactly the time they started taking themselves really bloody seriously.  At the same show, Luscious Jackson played a great set.  Originally, the first act on the bill was going to be Fun Loving Criminals ( you know, the “Scooby Snacks” people) but they had to back out of the show at the last minute because their record label imploded or something.  So, they were replaced by ManBREAK.

Here’s ManBREAK’s legacy in a nutshell….

1) They’re the band that opened for Live and Luscious Jackson instead of Fun Loving Criminals.  That’s pretty much all you ever need to know about ManBREAK, except

2) They were kind of a harbringer of things to come.

Listening to “Ready or Not” – it’s clearly not nu-metal doof rock – it’s catchy and cool and kind of Madchester by way of Scotland – but it’s a sign of things to come.  Meaning… let’s look at that original line-up.  Live, Luscious Jackson, Fun Loving Criminals.  Take all those bands.  Put them in a blender.  What do you get?  ManBREAK.  Now, take that blended stew of yours, and drain out all the melody and “meaning” of Live, the funky, jazzy, punk feminism of Luscious Jackson, and the quirky, cool sense of humor of Fun Loving Criminals.  But leave the loudness, the hip-hop influence, and the “comeON! comeON!” in.  Then add the unwashed jock straps of an entire high school football team , and stir.

What you’d get would probably sound a lot like Limp Bizkit.

And that’s not fair to ManBREAK, because they seem like nice fellows.  I mean, just look at their hats.

1 Comment

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in music, nostalgia, songs you don't know


One response to “The Misremembered ’90s: ManBREAK, “Ready Or Not”

  1. Han

    June 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I am rock fan and love “Ready or not”. 🙂


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