January 10, 2013

Song Review: The Men's "Electric"

The Men have inspired a reawakening of NYC's noise-punk scene for the better since their 2011 breakthrough Leave Home turned the music world their way with their brand of dingy, DIY hardcore-inspired rock. They went to bat again last year, hitting another one out of the park with Open Your Heart, an LP that marked considerable progress toward cleaner garage rock gestures and crafting timeless rock songs that don't necessarily fit the Sacred Bones roster's archetype of dark matter hiss and drips. We're only two weeks into 2013, and already the Men are setting their sights on being the first band ever to three-peat on AwkwardSound's Best Albums list with a new full-length, New Moon, set to rise on March 5th once again through Sacred Bones Records. For this effort, the Men left the city and headed upstate to Big Indian, located inside the Catskill Mountains, "surrendered their writing process, or themselves for that matter, to the recording environment," according to the label's press release. Lead single "Electric" reflects this freedom in the Mens' latest sound intervention. As killer of an album as Open Your Heart was, the sudden jump from grungy swells of noise to well-sliced acoustic jangle was maybe its more jarring takeaway, but "Electric" takes that half step backward, realigning the Brooklyn quartet somewhere between "Bataille"'s rumble and "Open Your Heart"'s quick snapping power pop without any loss to Nick Chiericozzi’s increased confidence up front. For a second last year, the Men had AS worried they were beginning to take every riff too seriously, but a little R & R out in the boondocks so far has grounded the best elements of these punks' collective body.

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