Man or Astro-man? have a neat little thing going here on Defcon 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1, and it seems to be spirit. They've got it in abundance, and go about creating an album with a space-rock crunch that, no matter how completely weird and left-field, is actually pulled off pretty damn well. It's just a shame that it's nothing all too much to write home about otherwise.

Focusing on the good here for a little bit, Man or Astro-man? have proved in abundance that they’re passionate, focused, and don't release anything unless it's pumped full of the vigor of a band notorious for riotous live sets. The same goes on Defcon. The band's ninth album, it would be easy for bands at this stage to lose this sense of drive. The band manage to make each track sound fresh, as if they recorded it in one take. Not because they are by any means lazy, but because one take was all it took to capture the raw energy of a band still giving it 100% their all.

The above makes it all the more difficult to see where the album doesn't work, but it seems that it doesn't, on a number of levels. Whilst a cohesive whole is made of all the tracks here, it just isn't all that inspiring musically. Many albums suffer when experimental parts meander aimlessly and seem to have little to no focus. Defcon has the opposite problem. Just when you think a sound is going to develop, it's cut off mid-breath, and forgotten about. 'Codebreaker 78' sums this up, as it's an interesting track, but it just doesn't develop at all. It certainly takes a direction, but looses interest due to its restricted nature. Throughout the album we have the 'DEFCON' tracks themselves, counting down from '5' to '1'. These are perhaps the exception to the above, gradually building up over time, the former influencing the latter. If these were the influence for the whole album, it's a shame they're interspersed with neon offerings, seemingly put in place so as to give listeners something to hold onto. Man or Astro-man? seem to have got it wrong - these are their ace cards, these are what make the album work, when it does.

To conclude, it's great to see a band still so in love with making music, something which can be lost at this stage so easily. Normally, however, the one thing bands would have a solid grounding for, nine albums in, would be making something consistent, and being able to identify their own strengths, which just doesn't seem apparent here. I'd just like to give Man or Astro-man? a room for two days, and see what noise they can make, because undoubtedly, it would be a lot of fun to listen to.