Review: The Men – New Moon
Published on March 14th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Nnnggghhh…is this going to be another Japandroids? Some smart-arse, post-something-or-other thrashabits that apparently exude “raw energy” in unspoken mitigation of their providing very little else of interest? And we still won’t get it, even when it’s flying high in everyone else’s end of year lists? New Moon by The Men is going to be another Celebration Rock, isn’t it?
It starts promisingly enough, with the skipping piano and monged harmonies of “Open the Door” conjuring a Holland-era Beach Boys sort of feel. The sloppiness of their performances will no doubt be taken for iconoclastic indifference but the material doesn’t feel strong enough for them to be making such a statement, if that is indeed what they are trying to do. “Half Angel Half Light” does a decent line in clattering, bittersweet fuzz-pop, and “Without a Face” ain’t half bad either, but the half-arsed Merseybeat of “The Seeds” just doesn’t sit right when it’s so lacking in the memorable tune to justify the insouciance.
As we have frequently noted elsewhere, someone somewhere has clearly decreed that every modern rock record (bar the imaginative ones) must at some point feature the drum fill from “Be My Baby”: in this instance “High and Lonesome” does the honours, and why should a band as prosaically named as The Men be any different? Still, it’s got a nice progression into minor key about it, even if it remains instrumental without really feeling like it needs to be.
From then on we get the punky workout of “The Brass”, the pleasingly frenetic yet ultimately sub-Dinosaur Jr./pre-Loveless MBV of “I See No One”, the country-tinged sunset nostalgia of “Bird Song” and the furiously wailing rock riffery of “Supermoon”. New Moon contains a few decent songs, a few decent impressions of greater bands from bygone eras, and a few tracks that feel really quite undercooked. A mixed bunch, then, but not without its charms.
Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!
New Moon is out now on Sacred Bones. For more information, please visit wearethemen.blogspot.com