Men The - New Moon 12inch
It’s been exactly a year since the release of The Men’s third and critically-acclaimed album Open Your Heart. There was little to dislike in that album: the hybrid of classic rock riffage, noise rock, and psychedelia provided what could only be described as a raw approach to a vintage cool. Compared to the album that came before it, 2011’s Leave Home, Open Your Heart was a welcome expansion not only of genres, but of the band’s songwriting. Open Your Heart sounded like a cohesive album, a quality that usually only comes up after twenty years of repeated listens. Part of that appeal plays on the ignorant generalization that guitars signify authenticity, but much of what The Men communicate in their songs is rooted in nostalgia. It doesn’t quite sound like what one would imagine a 21st-century album would be, and yet, when the opening riff of “Turn it Around” comes through the speakers, it’s become a signature 2012 sentiment.
Fast forward one year, and The Men have delivered on their promise for an early 2013 follow-up. While New Moon sounds more like Open Your Heart than anything else from the band’s brief career, there are some changes in the album’s production that sets it apart. With a harder edge, sounding more aggressive and amplified than its predecessor, New Moon is more articulate as a whole. Some expressed distaste for the lull in Open Your Heart’s center (namely during the title track and “Candy”), and while New Moon explores similar slower country and folk-influenced songs, the results are interspersed more evenly throughout the album. New Moon, even in being a longer album than Open Your Heart, showcases The Men’s ability to construct and finely detail an album as a whole rather than a collection of influences.