Open Your Heart
Ironically referred to by Timeout NY as “Thurston Moore & the E Street Band,” The Men have never been a band to play by categorical punk subgenre rules. Instead, over the last three years, this band has dabbled in everything from hardcore punk to psych to shoegaze to black metal; and they have done all of it effortlessly, and for the most part, flawlessly. Totally removed from the current climate of ADD-youtube-blog-hyped generation of musicians under 21, The Men stand out from the pack as both scene elders and actual record collectors. What makes this band so unique is their ability to synthesize their influences rather than just regurgitate them.
On Open Your Heart, the band’s 3rd full length, the NY quartet explore twangy country music, guitar solos, surf-ish riffs, psych, and just about everything in between. Erring on the side of literal as opposed to ironic, the song titles here (“Oscillation,” “Country Song,” “Ex-Dreams,” etc.) blatantly celebrate the band’s “you get what you pay for” DIY aesthetic. Beyond their genre-defying writing experiments, some of the band’s finest singles to date are on this record; “Open Your Heart,” “Please Don’t Go Away,” and “Candy” all demonstrate a new pop sensibility that previous albums only hinted at. Additionally, having four songwriters in the band lends itself to a truly unpredictable and thrilling live experience. With Open Your Heart, The Men embrace what is truly their calling, and flower into the fully diversified punk band their fans have always championed them for being.