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June 20th, 2012 MATTHEW SINGER | Music Stories
 

Primer: The Men

music.primer.men_3833THE MEN - IMAGE: wearethemen.blogspot.com
     
Tags: The Men
Formed: 2008 in New York City. 

Sounds like: Our Band Could Be Your Life come to life, standing on a Brooklyn street corner circa 2012 and wondering aloud why everything is so goddamned quiet now. 

For fans of: Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr., Big Black, Scratch Acid, Mclusky.

Latest release: The appropriately titled Open Your Heart, on which the band peels back the alienating scuzz und drang of its vicious debut and exposes the roaring, melodic aorta beneath.

Why you care: The Men are the last punk band. In an era when the term “indie rock” is more synonymous with glockenspiels, whispery dance beats and hushed bedroom confessionals than gnashing guitars and ruptured-throat bloodletting, the New York quartet is a remnant of a time when the underground was “the underground” because the normies couldn’t take all the noise. The band’s first official album, 2011’s Leave Home, registered as a blistered reaction to the neutered state of rock music in the aughts, a screeching, squalling wildfire of distortion and self-immolating screams. Open Your Heart, the band’s new one, is a different animal, but make no mistake: It’s still a howling beast. Only now, those howls are coming—as the title implies—from the heart rather than the larynx. It does this while folding in shards of krautrock, shoegaze and even twangified country. The Men still sound dissatisfied with new-millennium rock ’n’ roll, but instead of lashing out against it, the group is actively trying to make things harder, better, faster, louder. And the Men succeed, gloriously.


SEE IT: The Men play Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., on Saturday, June 23, with Hurry Up and Hausu. 9 pm. $12. 21+.

 
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