While The Men’s previous album from last year, Leave Home, had some potential with it’s straight ahead rock, it ended up being too murky and self-aware to really be able to get into. The new record from this Brooklyn band, Open Your Heart, tells a different story and shows the group turning up the volume while adding more layers to the sounds that they put on their previous record.
“Turn It Around” is a great, straight forward rocker where the drums end up carrying the track. “Animal” has some female vocals in the back and comes out sounding like punk via The Ramones. There’s also some harder punk on the closing song “Ex-Dreams”. “Country Song” is the odd one in the bunch, with it’s slower guitar picking it’s the one of the few times where Open Your Heart slows it down. The other quite moment happens on “Candy”, the only track with some serious lyrics, it’s a great mix of Bob Dylan and The Velvet Underground.
“Oscillation” might be the best thing here with it’s massive classic rock sound that stretches out for seven minutes. The jam keeps going and never lets up, yet it doesn’t go out of it’s way to change up it’s tempo or anything except for one time. It’s like a really upbeat Joy Division track. The other long track, “Presence” is a slow-burner starting out with just some mid tempo guitars and then slowly placing in vocals and bringing the guitars up as the song continues.
Open Your Heart is a step up for The Men, and although there’s nothing extraordinary going on it’s still a great rock album. There’s little music out there now that actually rocks, but The Men know how to pull it off.
Rating: 7.1 out of 10.