Reviews The Men Open Your Heart

The Men

Open Your Heart

This could be the album that shoots The Men into music lovers’ hearts or it could be a slow burner that floats in the whereabouts of obscurity. The hope is for the latter.

Open Your Heart is a musical mash of various genres, all neatly performed by a loose-sounding band that’s mastered the art of rocking out. There are punk groovers like opening track “Turn it Around,” instrumental psychedelia like “Country Song,” and even catchy garage-pop in “Please Don’t Go Away.” All of these traits see the band changing from shoegaze-infused post-punk to a more refined and organized unit. Vocalist Nick Chiericozzi seems calmly subdued, almost ditching his Pissed Jeans-inspired vocals for something akin to J Mascis. The title track is a good example of this stylistic change in tone and musicianship. It’s perhaps the best song on the album—a more structured and focused sounding track that should be played for those new to the band—“Open Your Heart” might be the tipping point here.

Another trait is a full sounding album. The production is perfect for their style. Fuzzy garage licks and lo-fi vocalization add dynamic to their trademark rawness. It’s like old SST bands The Meat Puppets or Dinosaur Jr. Not being so much a radical departure from 2011’s Leave Home, but instead a choice in production to warrant their newer changes, The Men now seem right out of 90s indie rock. Songs “Candy” and “Oscillation” wouldn’t be out of place on a Pavement record.

Sacred Bones is quickly becoming an indie rock powerhouse with great releases by diverse artists like Pop. 1280, Zola Jesus, Crystal Stilts, and The Blank Dogs. With this release, the label has solidified an important band that’s bringing back older styles with new twists. The Men grace the line between past and present, looking forward while honoring inspirations long gone. Open Your Heart is very solid release and one not to miss.

8.0 / 10Schuyler D
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