The Men
New York City


3.7
great

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
February 4th, 2023 | 6 replies


Release Date: 02/03/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's still rock and rock to me

The Men are an interesting band. Well over a decade into their career, they’ve yet to release something which truly captures my heart, but I’m pretty likely to give them some time whenever they release a new record. Mostly, it’s their penchant to never release the same album twice which keeps me in a state of perpetual curiosity, even if that’s the same trend which has left a permanently disgruntled fanbase in their wake.

You could summon up a casual argument that New York City is the sound of the band returning to their roots, an easy guess given it bears the name of the place they emerged from, and provides a rockier style while eschewing much of any twangy influences which have marked a lot of their more recent material. Really, though, I don’t feel that way. My personal assessment is that New York City is a whole new animal (as usual), and, to put it bluntly, that it’s The Men’s least interesting album. Previously, the crew always had some intriguing genre fusions at play, and (more often than not) a wide range of diversity between tracks. This latest album, on the other hand, is pretty basic in both construction and tone. But it’s also very coherent and comfortable in its own skin. I like it.

New York City rawks. Midway between Stooges and Stones, with a heavy dose of more recent garage rock stylings and a pinch of punkish energy, the album shoots right out the gate and basically doesn’t let up throughout its (fairly brief) runtime. Throughout their varied incarnations, The Men have shown a tendency towards vintage rock aesthetics, a preference for passion and sonic power over any consideration more sophisticated. Before, though, they tended to balance this trait with a decent degree of complexity, of toying with different angles. Here, they ignore that balance and just go for it, feeling like a bar band jamming out a raw (if well-rehearsed) set.

The first four songs on New York City are fast-paced and feed directly into one another, getting the record off to a surging start. Starting with “Eye”, with its stoner-ish riffs, things slow down a bit, but the album remains unrelentingly rocking throughout. The last two songs, indeed, are arguably the best, “Anyway I Find You” providing a strong melodic component to its crunching foundation, and “River Flows” closing things out in a grungy six-minute romp.

I’m rather doubtful that the consensus on New York City will be particularly positive (and assessments haven’t been kind for many of the group’s recent works). But the release does exactly what it sets out to do. The Men have given up on trying any sort of innovation here, and instead seem to have set out to simply jam some rockin’ tunes at high volume. Call me a simple man, but yeah, it’s pretty great.



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user ratings (18)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2023


6041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Fairly straightforward review for a fairly straightforward album!

MarsKid
Emeritus
February 5th 2023


21035 Comments


Straightforward rock ! Not sure if I'm in the market for it, but def understand the comfort it can offer. Nicely written my dude.

MrCoffee
February 6th 2023


187 Comments


Love this band

Essence
February 6th 2023


6702 Comments


nive review! leave home is the only album i revisit but this band is always interesting

WatchItExplode
February 6th 2023


10480 Comments


The band name, album title and cover art really tell you everything you need to know. Straightforward is indeed the perfect descriptor. I enjoyed it for what it is.

deathofasalesman
February 6th 2023


8638 Comments


Great review! Been a long time since I listened to these guys. Probably check this one out



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