Music Review

Man on Man – Provincetown

todayJune 22, 2023 146 3

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By – Kristi Houk

Recommended if you like: Imperial Teen, Bob Mould, Dinosaur Jr., Purling Hiss, Dazy

Provincetown, the second release from life and musical partners Roddy Bottum (Faith No More and Imperial Teen) and Joey Holman is a fucking triumph for the LGBTQ+ community and a direct, ‘f-you we’re not going anywhere for the rest of us.’ This record couldn’t come at a better time with many right wing states continuing to push anti-LGBTQ+ legislation—looking at you Florida.        

The album’s title refers to Provincetown (P-town), the city at the northern tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts which is a long-time safe haven for the queer community.  Holman describes Provincetown as a special place for queer people, “because it feels so normal to be queer. So what that does to your mind, especially when you are making music, is it allows your mind to be in a natural state of rest and safety. It gives us confidence.”

And this album has confidence in spades. Musically, it falls somewhere between power-pop and early-90’s fuzzed out rock a la Dinosaur Jr. In fact, J. Mascis makes an appearance on “Hush” the last track on the record. I love the throbbing rhythm section throughout while Bottum and Holman confront homophobia, ageism, and fatphobia. On the tongue in cheek “Piggy” Bottum challenges the ridiculousness of online dating apps like Grindr:

Here piggy, piggy
We told you no
Torso picture in your profile photo
You gotta show more
Is your face a foreign concept?

Hi, hi, hi, hi 70 times
Still no response on the 79th
Why don’t you take your phone
And flush it down the toilet.
  

There’s a sparseness to Provincetown that feels comfortably recognizable and palatable like early new wave dance music, dare I say, Erasure when maybe it shouldn’t given the subject matter. It’s as if Bottum and Holman are trying to teach us “straights” how to act and how to show up as an ally when it matters most. On “Kids” the lesson is apparent:

 

 

This will go on and on
Just like the questions:

What can I say?
Can I say?

Take a minute
To get with the pronouns
Take a minute
To listen to kids.

Cause the grownups
Are kind of a letdown.
In a minute
you’ll be glad that you did. 

It’s the least we can do. 

 

Stand Out Tracks: “Piggy, ” “Haute Couture,”  “Kids”

Written by: kristi houk

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