Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man Sized Action - Claustrophobia (1983, Reflex)

Minneapolis' Man Sized Action were one of a handful of bands taken under the wing of Reflex Records, Husker Du's in-house record label during the early and mid-80s.  Responsible for issuing Husker's "Statues" 7" and first proper studio album, Everything Falls Apart, Reflex released both of MSA's albums, Claustrophobia and Five Story Garage.  Crisply produced by Bob Mould himself, Claustrophobia is a lost, noir-wave treasure, brimming with jagged post-punk, often skirting the periphery of hardcore.  Tippy's sweet, clangy guitar lines often outshine Pat Woods four-parts spoken/one-part sung vocals, but the real wow-factor for me is the band's spot-on approximation of the unrelated Middle Class,' especially their little known classic, Scavanged Luxury ep.  In fact, "Private Eye" and "Yea" almost strike me as plagiaristic, but when the results are this white hot I can hardly complain.  Wire's Pink Flag, and Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures also seemed to have been vying for space on this quartet's collective turntable.  If you enjoy this, check out The Verge's Habitual 7" ep I shared a few moons ago.  Recorded in the same year but a good thousand miles away in Albany, NY, The Verge were operating on an identical wavelength as Man Sized Action. 

As a further aside, I have it on good authority that this particular copy of Claustrophobia was previously owned by the late Kristen Pfaff of Hole and Janitor Joe.  R.I.P. Kristen.  For what it's worth, your record is in good hands.

01. Pressure Relief
02. Bubble Bursts
03. Who's Kiddin' Who
04. Don't Wanna
05. Private Eye
06. Self Respect
07. My Life
08. Looking At You
09. Yea
10. Claustrophobia



j metaphor said...

heads up, dude:


spavid said...

Thanks! I assume this is just up for a day, as has been the rest of Greer's series?

Greg Schaal said...

I'm a lifelong Minneapolis resident and have rarely seen this record in any of the shops. Thanks for posting! Man Sized Action were a great band.

Brushback said...

Yeah, Man Sized Action were great, "Five Story Garage" has some of the best songs ever - great riffs

Mathers said...

This band should have been a lot bigger...even if just amongst the underground. Five Story Garage ranks up there with the best that ever came out of Minnesota.

Jeric Lester Ventura said...

Can I request a reup? :)

spavid said...

The link has been updated.