Open Your Heart
Mar 06, 2012 Web Exclusive
The Men's Leave Home, gracing many a Top 10 list last year, was a wonderful mess. The band boasts three separate songwriters, and a conscious no-particular-focus ethos that lets them explore whatever direction they damned well please, with in-the-red gusto. The result was (and remains here) a train wreck of the sounds gracing indie rock's most sacred and pioneering labels—SST, Twin/Tone, Homestead, et al—and a re-kindling of that same anything-goes spirit.
With Open Your Heart, the group refine things just enough—adding a drummer to free up the two-guitar assault, and backing off the recording distortion enough to widen the fan base a couple percentage points. Then the plowing through influences commences—there's Sebadoh or Dinosaur Jr., there's Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü, a little Alex Chilton funneled through The Replacements, or some older fare like Buzzcocks or The Damned. You'll name a few more based on your own experience, but The Men crank it out with such vigor that you'll swear it's back In the day again, and music A) means something, and B) doesn't overthink it. Amen to The Men. (www.wearethemen.blogspot.com)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 8/10