Thursday, March 2, 2023

Album Review: The Men - New York City

The Men
New York City
***and1/2 out of *****

The Brooklyn based rockers The Men are back with New York City, a ripping raw slice of throwback, 70's inspired rock. The ninth studio effort from the outfit finds them ditching their more pastural experiments and just stripping down to the basics with snarling efforts.  

The players, Nick Chiericozzi, Mark Perro, Kevin Faulkner, Rich Samis played live and recorded to 2" tape in Travis Harrison’s (Guided By Voices, Built To Spill) Brooklyn studio. The result is a vibrating full length that shimmies with energy from the beginning combo of "Hard Livin'" and "Peace of Mind", which acts a double shot of garage rock rambling via punkish bouncing and scruffy riffs in jubilant New York Doll inspired fashion. 

That blistering shaking continues with "Echo" as the chugging effort sports the best guitar solo on the album. The band struts with powerful confidence into the catchy "God Bless The USA" wrapping up a successful four pack to start the record. 

Things are less positive on the slowed down crashing of "Eye" and the droning repetitive "Round The Corner" both of which feels straight out of The Stooges play book, but like that legendary group, The Men are much better when rocking, not plodding. 

The album never recaptures the energy and excitement of the intro run of songs, however, they move more into pop rock territory with the cool "Eternal Romance" that successfully features spacey sounds and 'oh-ah' vocals. "Through the Night" kicks back up the overall good times, but the country twang tinged rock of "Anyway I Find You" and the long closing "River Flows" never fully take off to the heights hinted at.

When The Men nail it correctly during the first half of New York City everything's Jake, but when the attention wanders and pace slows on the second half, some raucous injections of chaos is called for.     
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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