The Men


Sacred Bones

Feb 28, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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Over the years a new record from The Men has become a tantalizing proposition. For the main part, their continued appeal has been driven by their restless evolution from noisy punks to intrepid explorers of rock's canon. What they proved with 2012's Open Your Heart was that they were capable of a successful growth beyond their noise rock origins, on Drift that gift eludes them. 

Although the industrial thud and theatrically gothic vocal of opener "Maybe I'm Crazy" is not entirely satisfactory as a whole, it works well as an odd little teaser. Unfortunately, it transpires that lack of follow-though is sadly prescient. From the forgettable country rock of "So High" to the dispensable interlude that is "Sleep," Drift proves to be a tiring exercise in desperately finding something, anything, to grasp on to. But the dead-eyed love song "When I Held You In My Arms" suggests sometimes it's best just to let go; such lethargic platitudes are unlikely to woo even the most desperate romantic.

There are mild pleasures to be gleaned from the detritus, like the tender, ambling psych experiment, "Final Prayer." And the bright ditty "Rose on Top of the World" taps into the fruitful Tom Petty-tracing tendencies of New Moon. But ultimately, they're insufficient in absolving the record's inadequacies.

The Men have drifted from progression towards fruitless diversion and procrastination. A decade in listeners deserve something more committed, and the band's 10-year legacy merits more than a record that leaves no imprint. (

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