Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Men - Open Your Heart

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned during the resurgence of punk rock music during 2012, it’s that the additional attention has very little to do with the genre breaking out of its sleepy slumber. Instead, there is a collective group of artists that use the format for its own outline, play to it with faithful abandon, and then begin adding on different elements to demonstrate that punk rock music does not have to sound like a monochromatic narrative.

In fact, if there’s one thing that the purveyors of punk rock have glaringly forgotten until late is how the most notable and acknowledged artists did not hesitate to incorporate honest, raw emotion into their output. Because without that level of raw feeling, the music only assimilates the genre rather than motivate it.
Which is exactly what The Men have done with their third release, Open Your Heart. And while the album title might suggest that the raw emotion they present is done with empathy and tenderness, the reality is much different.

The band flows in and out of various touch points, occasionally nodding to old Spacemen 3 and Buzzcocks records while paying close attention to the ever-revolving dynamics of Fugazi during a few moments of guitar interplay.

The result is something that's wonderfully respectful of the path that's brought them here while remaining incredibly fresh and, most importantly, just a whole lot of fun.

“I want to know what’s in store” they ponder on the wonderful seven-minute “Oscillation.”

That makes two of us.

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