The Men, “Electric”

The Men are one of my favorite Brooklyn bands. Their debut LP Leave Home was an loud and abrasive masterpiece I hoped would trigger another wave of similarly-minded music in the borough.

Their second full length, Open Your Heart was toned down a bit; it still “rocked,” but in a different way. It had more of a “beer with bros” vibe to it. Less noise, more solos. It made them huge; from the blog-o-sphere’s perspective anyway.

I loved it (it came in at #4 on my year end list), but part of me yearned for a expansion on the sound they cultivated on Leave Home. I wondered what would come next for The Men. They were a punk band who were schooled in the first wave of indie, back when there weren’t blogs and licensing deals to give a shit about. But they had just released a more blog-friendly record that was a lot easier to digest than their first.

Today, they released Electric (streaming below), the first single off of their forthcoming LP, New Moon, which is out on March 5. The track will also be available as a 7″ on January 24th with a B-side, entitled Water Babies.

That’s the album art for the full length above; and you’ll notice off the bat that they’ve forgoed the familiar Sacred Bones album cover template. It would seem that the sound also forgoes Sacred Bones’ template for darkly-tinged outsider music, be it coldwave, dark ambient, post-punk or neo-psych.

It’s clearly more Open Your Heart than Leave Home, even taking a step further into a more pop-minded celebratory space currently occupied by the likes of Japandroids. The noisy hardcore sound The Men unleashed on Brooklyn back in 2011 has been put to bed. At least for now. One thing is for sure; they’re talented enough to pull either sound off.

The Men are heading down south for a tour of Australia, and their homecoming is on March 7 at Bowery Ballroom; the first night of their US tour.

New Moon:

01 Open the Door
02 Half Angel Half Light
03 Without a Face
04 The Seeds
05 I Saw Her Face
06 High and Lonesome
07 The Brass
08 Electric
09 I See No One
10 Birdsong
11 Freaky
12 Supermoon