The Men
Tomorrow's Hits


3.7
great

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
March 3rd, 2014 | 141 replies


Release Date: 03/04/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yesterday's Rock

The Men would open an album called Tomorrow’s Hits with an expository signpost placed forty years ago. Through their later career, they’ve consistently played up classic rock and roll tropes--power-punk chord progressions, guitar solos, sloppy joviality, and live, one-take, all-or-fucking-nothing energy--with unabashed enthusiasm, at their best sounding like a giddy counter to over-produced, sterilized modern guitar rock without ever getting stuffy about it. The only irony in the phrase “Tomorrow’s Hits” is the sheer impossibility for these songs to achieve that distinction, but you won’t hear any fretting over the state of culture from The Men. They’re jammers devoted to remaining immune from the zeitgeist, instead playing music for an older generation’s ideals: ramblin’ nonsense that seems to always find its way back to “baby, what can I do?”, under-produced but undeniably destroyed drums a la Keith Moon, solos Dean Moriarity would’ve pleaded with you to dig. Protagonists of 90s movies set in the 1970s would’ve loved them. On Tomorrow’s Hits, they own up to their nostalgia-baiting revivalism, playing pretend with the line “My Mom gave me this guitar in 1974, it’s true!”, with “it’s true!” intonated more like “no, really!”

Tomorrow’s Hits is absolutely and unabashedly a dated rock ‘n’ roll fantasy, but at its best, it’s the sort worth indulging in. Its highlights are revved-engine barn-burners where every instrument feels like it’s holding on for dear life. “Pearly Gates” sounds dangerously close to falling apart, the guitars and whipped-to-exhaustion horn sections seemingly struggling to just play, let alone find notes--everything compelling blues rock should be. Elsewhere “Another Night,” plunks through an insistent rhythmic motif and lets the saxophones get all meaty over it, while “Different Days” serves as Tomorrow’s Hits’ answer to New Moon’s “Electric,” the track that recalls a Strokes riff which recalls a Replacements riff, and so on and so on until the origin ceases to matter. The benefit for The Men playing this sort of music is that where they’re nicking from grows less important--so long as they keep pulling it off.

Pull it off they do in spades for the third straight record, save for the fact The Men have yet to figure out how to make their ballads as compelling as their high-octane songs, and yet it’s likely that Tomorrow’s Hits will also be the third straight record that goes underrated because it doesn’t build upon 2011’s assaultive and excellent Leave Home. It’s an unfortunate part of any conversation surrounding The Men that they’re no longer noise-rock’s great white hope when their music kills in ways less ground-and-eardrum breaking than it was there. But as The Men indulge their love of classic rock for the third straight record, one can’t help but admire their willingness and ability to produce distinct and sonically tight records. Open Your Heart, New Moon, and Tomorrow’s Hits are lumped together because they’re the post-Leave Home records, but they each find The Men showing off a new skin, from New Moon’s Nashville bent to Tomorrow’s Hits New Orleans blues. What this means is that even if Tomorrows Hits isn’t your bag, there’s always the next one which, if history is any indication, will likely be here this time next year.



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Olivier De Clercq CONTRIBUTOR (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


10510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

i see this cooled off a bit for you. also lol at recent reviews "the men - new moon"

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Winesburgohio
March 2nd 2014


1042 Comments


is it as neutered and bloodless as everything else they've done post-Leave Home answer me that

Digging: Vashti Bunyan - Heartleap

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


4507 Comments


ya

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

lol klap at some point my recent reviews will be only Men albums

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


4507 Comments


rocking and rolling and barn burning in 2014

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

this is very not-vaporwave

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


3471 Comments


idk I thought seapunk was a pretty apt description for this album

that said never listened to the men, should probably do that at some point. gd review as always ernest

Winesburgohio
March 2nd 2014


1042 Comments


what

whocares
March 2nd 2014


12 Comments


"Pull it off they do in spades for the third straight record"

i guess we know how serious to take you and this review then

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


4507 Comments


however the bright neon colors of the cover art may suggest otherwise. brb listening closer

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

i guess we know how serious to take you and this review then


try as i might i can never avoid the innocuous phrasing that invalidates everything i say

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


4507 Comments


whocares

robin
Emeritus
March 2nd 2014


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review is a delight so

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


3471 Comments


wait i'm confused as to how using "pulling something off in spades" implies lack of a serious attitude can someone enlighten me please

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


3471 Comments


also, robin didn't like something? what? I thought disliking music (especially downer-approved music!) went against his basic core beliefs as an empathetic human

whocares
March 2nd 2014


12 Comments


it seems you were wrong

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


10302 Comments


I remember that beef Robin had with Best Coast a few years back

robin
Emeritus
March 2nd 2014


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2014 is the year of being pissy that it isn't 2013

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


3471 Comments


oh yeah something about cats

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2014


10302 Comments


Your avatar is all I need btw



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