surRealReviews: The Men “New Moon”
The Men, signed to my favorite label of the 00’s, Sacred Bones, have undeniably evolved in the span of three years and three albums. The Men came onto the scene as punk that sometimes drifted into space for drone-rock. They asked their fans for patience as they shape shifted into a less aggressive sound, but almost subserviently more aggressive lyrics. The Men have become a staple of punk in less than 5 years, and their accessibility to the audience grows exponentially now. Incorporating country and folk to the career of a punk rocker is almost inevitability. It just doesn’t usually happen in 5 years, or with such dizzy head kicks.
Bob Dylan was the punk of folk. So it unconditionally flows on the wavelength that Bob Dylan influenced their album “New Moon” as they went to the woods to record it.
This album is missing the crunchy, effect driven, and squawk of The Men. But has become my album “for moonshine drinking.” I don’t know if you all know this, but moonshiners are coming back in a big way. I know 5 bars in Downtown LA where I can always pick up the mason. Besides the point…
Call your hunting dog Boo Radley, grab your Ruger Red Label 20 gauge shotgun, and strap up the left, and only the left strap of your overall blue jeans, and don’t you dare forget that mason jar of white lightning by the door. Shit! You left your prospecting hat in the house. It’s ok, you have “New Moon” by The Men.
That’s The Men I fell in love with over the last three years.
THIS IS THE MEN OF NOW Surf Rock, Country, and Americana just seep out of the pores on this album. It’s almost blasphemous to say they “were punk.” But it’s conclusively post-punk, with edges of neo-psych. So I decided to do this review as a review of their live performance, when I saw them Saturday at the Troubadour.
The same Troubadour you fell in love with UMO’s live act?
Why yes, attentive audience! Now I will continue with my exceptional and essential music piece I am scribing for you.
multiple exposure shot from march ninth at the troubadour @frightoverse credit
I struggle to remember the setlist, the sign of a good night. But I do remember rocking my head like Beavis & Butthead for most of it. The Men may have added pastels to the color wheel of punk, but they didn’t pussify their sound. Don’t think you are gonna go watch The Men whisk you away into the summer night. They’ll still make you walk away reeking of sweat and ganja. Unless you don’t like smelling beautifully odd, then they totally don’t make you smell like weed and sweat.
The two guitars almost form a Bermuda triangle of considerate noise rock with the bass. Meanwhile the synths and drums shout at the precipice of this tasty music, but contrasting; one black, one white, one neon. At times the new music felt to slow the pace down, and I looked around for my porch swing to have a seat, as Nick Chiericozzi strummed a chord and slammed his guitar into the mic, and got me banging my head again. I felt like I was watching The Men perform.
And that’s an important feeling for a fan of a band, when they change pace on a new album. Yet they were able to play a lot of new music, and express themselves more holistically. The fusion of psych and country was exciting, kinda like chasing the ice cream man down the street but not knowing what you’ll get until you catch him.
This album is a great album for you to jump in on, and become a fan of good-ass rock-n-roll. So go buy it at amazon for $7. Or be cool and buy it on vinyl or cd. Either way, support these dudes, and if you’re at a festival where they are playing, WATCH THEM!
NEW ADDITION TO SURREALREVIEWS
**Trippiest moment listening to “New Moon”**
Realizing I want to rock-n-roll in overalls.