Whereas The Men could have easily recorded another numbing outburst of punk, New Moon, the group’s latest disc for New York imprint Sacred Bones, is the most ambitious LP anyone’s thrown together in recent memory. There’s a subtle issue with length as the it’s almost exhausting if it’s not ingested in Side A/B doses, but the progression ditches the lo-fi hippie runs to develop genuine rock n’ roll that melts, pummels and slams. “Open The Door”, like the complimenting “Bird Song”, characterizes The Men’s knack for Americana, where piano chords quietly slide next to melodies and focus on the importance of transitions. “Half Angel Half Light” is a rusty sway into roots rock, and with harmonies and a blast of psych fuzz, it rages on with unexpected feels. From the driving pull to “The Seeds” to the eight-minute “Supermoon” to the wah pedal cries on “The Brass”, New Moon never sounds dated. Even as it slightly tugs on Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Rust Never Sleeps, it still enforces the band’s unpolished intensity letting rough homages display a group of guys pounding notes until they wane away into familiar blasts. Their work isn’t formulaic because The Men are a band who don’t know a way around honesty. With versatility and a calling to continue shredding small clubs and local bike shops, they won’t settle for anything pedestrian or hollow.
Listen/Download: “I Saw Her Face”, “Half Angel Light”, “Supermoon” || Watch: The Men – “Electric”