Fire Note Says: The Men release their most exciting record to date!
Album Review: The Men proved to be one of the harder hitting post-punk groups out there after last years thrilling Leave Home record took everyone that listened by surprise. Just as jolting is that the Brooklyn band has a new album out already titled Open Your Heart and it surpasses last year’s performance.
You might think that in order to out perform Leave Home The Men would need to make things louder, faster or both but the reality is that Open Your Heart embraces all of the quartet’s musical influences and explores their own style of surf riffs, country twang, psychedelic, guitar solos and of course punk rock. This may sound like a hodgepodge of music but not only do The Men pull it off but they pull it off with stylistic transitions, shorter tracks in the 2 to 3 minute range, longer tracks that move beyond 7 minutes and a carefree attitude that ties them all together.
It is this un-assuming and un-cocky attitude that makes this third LP from The Men so engaging. The record comes at you full steam on the rock opener “Turn It Around”, wanders off on the slow surfy “Country Song”, revs up its several different rock layers with the over 7 minute “Oscillation”, and then rolls out an Americana foot tapper with “Candy”. In between all of these hills and valleys are Open Your Heart’s post-punk glue tracks like the title track, “Cube” and the closing “Ex-Dreams”, which brings the listener full circle as you remember where The Men are from but totally enjoy their multi-dimensional journey!
The Men have created a record here that not only pays a tribute to all things that have made them so strong to this point but also has taken the band down a new and exciting path that only plays better each time you spin it. Open Your Heart is a record that absolutely does not take long to get into and then becomes impossible to put away!
Key Tracks: “Turn It Around”, “Candy”, “Ex-Dreams”
Artists With Similar Fire: Foo Fighters / The Jesus Lizard / Sonic Youth
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony