The Men: Tomorrow's Hits (Sacred Bones) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #49 - February/March 2014 - PortlandiaThe Men

Tomorrow’s Hits

Sacred Bones

Mar 03, 2014 Issue #49 - February/March 2014 - Portlandia Bookmark and Share

For all their mutations, The Men generally don’t do anything they’d be ashamed to have splayed across the front page of the Village Voice. They make rock music, flexibly and without posturing. Rare is the band with the dedicated curiosity to so impatiently explore every concrete corner of that place of guitars, primal urges, and what rock writer Joe Carducci called “the imperfect nature of performance.” Over four full-lengths and six years, the famously underproduced Brooklyn outfit has made a striking yet strangely logical change from the punk-, psych-, and noise-based sounds of the hip urban rat hole to those of the anytown barroom. Following 2013’s New Moon, which was recorded in the upstate boonies and introduced things like acoustic guitar, harmonica, pedal steel, and earthy vibes, Tomorrow’s Hits was recorded in a professional studio (a first) and introduces a horn section on a few tracks. These are mostly straight-up, mid-tempo songs, from the alt-country of “Dark Waltz” to the blue-eyed soul of “Another Night.” The garage punk thing is punchier this time and found on “Different Days” and “Pearly Gates,” which allows serious blues into its full-bore agenda. “Settle Me Down” is as sweet and lilting a number as The Men have done, featuring palm-muted chords and airy, melodic jangle. Tame by their own high standard of disorder, this record’s roomier, rootsier approach lands The Men at the left of the dialsomewhere around The Replacements and early Flamin’ Grooviesrather than off it entirely. It’s not a new deala bit of the raw power in exchange for some songcraft. Sometimes it’s a shame, but sometimes, this time, it’s something worth exploring (

Author rating: 5.5/10

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