The Men
New Moon


3.0
good

Review

by Martin L. USER (44 Reviews)
February 27th, 2013 | 110 replies


Release Date: 03/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Torn between two worlds

Because of their sheer consistency, The Men make for a particularly interesting case study. At a rate of one album per year for four years, they’ve progressed to become quasi-indie-darlings more akin to Dinosaur Jr. while still striving to satisfy their abrasive, ear-gouging, noise-rock roots. It’s no coincidence that the below stream is brought to you by Pitchfork. New Moon marks what I believe is the first departure from their usual album cover template, as well. This isn’t particularly indicative of the record, as New Moon is a predictable direction into this “eclectic” territory given Open Your Heart’s questionable leanings, but this might be the record that officially severs their ties with their noise-rock past, for better or worse.

Nothing about New Moon screams significant or meaningful, and something tells me that that this wasn’t their aim, anyway. They’ve always been a band that aims for sheer power, and have always been successful under this approach, whether with Immaculada’s no-fucks-given manner or the more deliberate, restrained energy of Leave Home. They’re still throwing punches to your gut, and they’re mixing in even more melody these days, but the product sounds infinitely more calculated than the anarchic chaos of Immaculada. It’s a quality that’s all the more digestible, but all the less striking. Personally, this creates a tear in my opinion. I have respect (and an absolute affinity) for The Men’s ability to craft fresh, melody-heavy tunes like the clean, catchy brazenness of “Please Don’t Go Away,” but the album gets tiring when the band couples this with their abrasive approach too much -- it feels a little forced and insincere.

The first two tracks are the most indicative of their departure (or continuation, depending on how one views it) of sound. “Open The Door” exhibits the same half-paced twang as “Country Song” from Open Your Heart, and “Half Angel Half Light” adds a weirdly upbeat, psychedelic-tinged chorus to the mix. Does it work? In short - a tentative yes. Given the context though, I can’t help but feel their strongest moments come much later in the album, from scorching, dissonant “Brass” with its muffled guitars and aptly-titled “The Electric” with its energetic, rock-and-roll approach. We see more of this eclecticism later from inclusions like the harmonica in “Bird Song,” but always it feels more like variety for variety’s sake as opposed to the sincere power approach that allows The Men to excel. As always, expert songwriting is a main draw, as the New Yorkers combine their ability to furness unrestrained energy with moments that manage to both highlight it and take it to new heights, like the dynamic bridge in “The Brass.” The quality is reminiscent of Japandroids’ Celebration Rock - stylistically, not sonically- and I mean that in the best way possible.

I felt similarly about Open Your Heart, but was eventually won over by the band’s newfound handle over melody and catchiness. New Moon is another effort that tries to blend The Men’s noisy dissonance with melodic lovability, but it’s more tired on this second try. One’s gotta respect the continued ability of The Men to naturally blend the harsh and the vanilla so seamlessly, but it’s difficult not to wish the band would return to their boisterous roots.



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user ratings (118)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
derho (3.5)
They're new Men!...

Adam Downer STAFF (3.8)
now with 90% more antagonistically pleasant piano...


Comments:Add a Comment 
carouse
February 27th 2013


302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The album is streaming, here http://pitchfork.com/advance/37-new-moon/

YankeeDudel
February 27th 2013


9313 Comments


ive only heard leave home from these guys and that kicks ass. it seems theyve gone downhill?

Digging: The The - Soul Mining

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2013


7423 Comments


These guys were cool once. Leave Home is a great record. Now I'm not even positive I'm gonna check this out.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Hep Kat
February 27th 2013


15352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Leave Home is my favorite album of theirs, and I feel as though they're steadily declining with each release

liledman
February 27th 2013


3826 Comments


First track, lame as shit.

carouse
February 27th 2013


302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Leave Home and Immaculada are my favorites. This and Open Your Heart have their moments but they're not nearly as wholly satisfying.

carouse
February 27th 2013


302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Leave Home and Immaculada are my favorites. This and Open Your Heart have their moments but they're not nearly as wholly satisfying.

Calc
February 27th 2013


12255 Comments


"and something tells me that that this wasn’t their aim, anyway."

is this right? cuz it doesnt sound like it to my earballs.

WeepingBanana
February 27th 2013


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hmm will check this out soon probably

honestly i've only heart open your heart and it was pretty cool i thought

fromtheinside
February 27th 2013


18865 Comments


washing my hands of this band. so disappointing

Digging: Psicosis - The Crippled Machine That Moves the World

TheNexus100
February 27th 2013


2546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

leave home is excellent

Digging: Nothing - Guilty of Everything

alachlahol
February 27th 2013


7501 Comments


goin downhill

TheNexus100
February 27th 2013


2546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like this more than open your heart or immaculada, i like the folk elements a lot

alachlahol
February 27th 2013


7501 Comments


this band is from brooklyn not california

alachlahol
February 27th 2013


7501 Comments


immaculada destroys everything else theyve done though leave home was solid havent heard this yet but wont be expect it to be any better than open your heart which was alright

porch
February 27th 2013


8459 Comments


last 2 albums have been bland as fuck

TheNexus100
February 27th 2013


2546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i didnt think immaculada was that good. I thought it was solid, Leave Home was a lot better, Open Your Heart was eh their worst full length but not really bad and I think this might be my second favorite from them. Idk if you like the much louder noisey men sound you won't like this as much but it's a really nice listen

carouse
February 27th 2013


302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this band is from brooklyn not california


Thank you for the correction. That's what I thought, but I looked up their Wiki page to verify it and mistook the 90's pop group The Men for them by accident.

GhostHead
February 27th 2013


166 Comments


This is boring and dissapointing. A couple good tracks though.

sniper
February 27th 2013


19078 Comments


havent heard this yet but wont be expect it to be any better than open your heart which was alright
same. i love their first two though.



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