Some bands sound like the electricity that’s powering their instruments is surging into their bodies. Dayton nerd-punks Brainiac, and the noisy Japanese Devo-worshippers in Polysics come to mind, but you don’t have to go as far as Osaka or Ohio to find a group that sounds as fired up with energy as Ben Franklin’s kite. Just look in your own backyard: Odds are good Arizona’s very own Playboy Manbaby are doing a set there.
Standing still at a Playboy Manbaby show seems to be an impossibility for both the audience, and the band themselves. The band merges the party-happy vibe of ska with punk fury, yelping B-52-esque vocals, and thoughtful, smart-assy lyrics. PM’s Robbie Pfeiffer remains one of the Valley’s most memorable frontmen: His vocals twitch and bounce and leap all over their records and live shows, as malleable and rubbery as a cartoon character that’s been hit with an anvil.
While their live shows are essential, records like Lobotomobile and Don’t Let It Be show that the band have the songwriting smarts and studio chops that they could pull an XTC tomorrow, retire from performing live, and still be a group worth following.
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Playboy Manbaby perform Friday, June 1, at The Rebel Lounge. Tickets are $8-$10 through ticketfly.com, and at the door.