The Men | Open Your Heart

Sacred Bones (2011)
By LIZ PELLY  |  March 21, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

Too often, punk purists devalue artful content in favor of remaining true to die-hard DIY politics or ideological messaging. So in that sense, the Men — a four-piece post-punk band that began playing Brooklyn basements and national self-booked tours in 2008 — have accomplished a feat, reaffirming the value of sonic innovations in a genre often preoccupied with maintaining a certain ethos. Mixing elements of punk, psych, shoegaze, hardcore and, at times, pop and Americana, Open Your Heart is the band's second album for the exceptional Sacred Bones label, following 2011's Leave Home and a string of self-released demo tapes and LPs. With its genre-bending sensibilities, Open Your Heart sees 10 tracks teeter into different textures and time signatures, from the seven-minute spacey psych-punk instrumental jam "Oscillation" to the melodic thrash and big-rock riffs of "Animal." The guitars and vocals sound most shoegaze-inspired on "Please Don't Go Away" and most twangy on "Country Song." In that context, the record's more poppy moments ("Open Your Heart," "Candy") act like psychological breathers. One of the more interesting rock albums in recent memory.
  Topics: CD Reviews , The Men, The Men, Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT: SQUAREHEAD (DUBLIN, IRELAND)  |  November 01, 2012
    On a sunny autumn afternoon on a side street in Brooklyn, I sit outside on a rickety black staircase with Squarehead, chatting about their week.
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT? SWEARIN'  |  October 18, 2012
    Allison Crutchfield grew up in the punk-rock world of DIY. And with her newest band, Swearin', she's released one of the best records of the year.
  •   ROBOT INVASION!  |  October 09, 2012
    Six-legged robots, mechanical snakes, and a friendly dino-bot by the name of Butch will make new friends in Somerville this week at two free events.
  •   BEACH HOUSE'S ARTFUL MYTH  |  October 10, 2012
    Victoria Legrand opened her notebook and saw the word "Myths." "There were no other words on the page," says the Beach House singer and keyboardist. VJust JMythsM. . . . I hadn't even remembered writing it. It was magical. A total sign."
  •   HOW TO DRESS WELL...ON HOW TO DRESS WELL  |  October 03, 2012
    Given his sartorial stage name and his ear for R&B beats and avant-pop minimalism, Tom Krell of How to Dress Well certainly sounds like someone who could compose an excellent soundtrack for a runway show.

 See all articles by: LIZ PELLY