Mike Watt : Hyphenated-man

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There is only enough room for one Mike Watt in this world.

The legendary bassist, whose influential resume includes The Minutemen and fireHOSE, and whose DIY approach is unrivaled in modern music, is in a league of his own when it comes to originality and eccentricity. Take his most recent release, for instance. Entitled Hyphenated-man, the album is Watt’s third opera, boasting 30 short vignettes based upon the creatures in Hieronymous Bosch’s artwork. Composed on one of the late D. Boon’s Fender Telecaster, most songs clock in at less than two minutes in length, and all end with the word “man.” There is the bobbling “Arrow-Piereced-Egg-Man,” the tensely drummed “Stuffed-In-The-Drum-Man,” and the sunny “Hallowed-Out-Man,” but all songs here are, at heart, punk and surf music as seen through Watt’s perpetually wandering eyes.

Bassist Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu) recorded Tom Watson’s guitar parts and Raul Morales’ drums, after which Watt added his bass noodles to create a sonically captivating album that bubbles and pops like shaken soda. Hyphenated-man is unadulterated Mike Watt. It is weird, wonderful, and unlike anything you have every heard.

Hyphenated-man is out now on Clenchedwrench.

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