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Open Your Heart [VINYL]

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Vinyl, 12 Mar 2012
£26.69
£13.86
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Product details

  • Vinyl (12 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sacred Bones Records
  • ASIN: B006WAF1BK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,201 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Leave Home (SBR-057) was Mojo s Underground Album of the Month Dec. 2011. Leave Home was featured on Spin s Best of 2011 list and a print feature is confirmed for March 2012 issue. The Men have done 2 full US tours, 2 EU tours, and plan to be on the road all of 2012 in support of this release including stops at Primavera & London Field Day. For fans of Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, Loop, Gram Parsons, Silver Apples. Ironically referred to by Timeout NY as Thurston Moore & the E Street Band, The Men have never been a band to play by categorical punk subgenre rules. Instead, over the last three years, this band has dabbled in everything from hardcore punk to psych to shoegaze to black metal; and they have done all of it effortlessly, and for the most part, flawlessly. Totally removed from the current climate of a.d.d-youtube-blog-hyped generation of musicians under 21, The Men stand out from the pack as both scene elders and actual record collectors. What makes this band so unique is their ability to synthesize their influences rather than just regurgitate them. On Open Your Heart, the band s 3rd full length, the NY quartet explore twangy country music, guitar solos, surf-ish riffs, psych, and just about everything in between. Erring on the side of literal as opposed to ironic, the song titles here ( Oscillation , Country Song , Ex-Dreams, etc.) blatantly celebrate the band s you get what you pay for diy aesthetic. Beyond their genre defying writing experiments, some of the band s finest singles to date are on this record; Open Your Heart, Please Don t Go Away, and Candy all demonstrate a new pop sensibility that previous albums only hinted at. Additionally, having four songwriters in the band lends itself to a truly unpredictable and thrilling live experience. With Open Your Heart, The Men embrace what is truly their calling, and flower into the fully diversified punk band their fans have always championed them for being. Attention! Value Adds : CD comes with limited edition live bonus album recorded on WFM U (while supplies last). LPs are hand silkscreened and come w/ digital download of entire album plus the WFM U disc.

BBC Review

Most artists think about things like cohesion and balance when putting an album together. The Men, instead, do whatever the hell they want. Just try to follow the twists and turns in this head-spinning synopsis of third album, Open Your Heart, and you’ll understand…

After the punk-rock romps of the two openers, Turn It Around and Animal, there’s a five-minute wandering thing called Country Song, which segues into Oscillation – a slow-building patina of samey guitars and propulsive percussion that only deigns to include vocals (spoken word) at the five-minute mark, before pushing on for two more minutes. Then we’re into washed-out shoegaze-with-a-dash-of-Sonic-Youth territory in Please Don’t Go Away, followed by the title-track’s fond nod to (okay, rip-off of) the Buzzcocks’ Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve). Ants still very much in pants, they next try on a plodding, melodic Rolling Stones-esque country blues for Candy; then there’s the Black Sabbath head-banger Cube; another seven-minute, string-bending slow-burner in Presence; before we finish with the Trail of Dead-style bullet train that is Ex-Dreams.

What to make of this meandering patchwork? It should be incredibly frustrating. It should be a chaotic, disjointed mess. Somehow, though, it works. It’s difficult to explain why, but these tracks do hang together well. Perhaps it’s because they share the same soul.

There’s a disarming carelessness at the heart of Brooklyn-based The Men, a kind of primal nihilism that allows them to get carried away, and which carries away the listener. On Animal, they scream ferociously about being, well, animals – barely discernible howls of "give it to me" and "gimme a kiss" rising out of the mess as it hurtles full-tilt towards the climax – and it about sums the band up. They’re following their gut, doing what feels right. It’s an unbeatably rock’n’roll attitude, but unconsciously so, because if they were trying to cultivate an ‘image’ they’d surely expel the slower droning numbers that (happily) distract from their raw elements.

All in all, rather than insolently demanding your attention as most rock albums do, Open Your Heart possesses a wonderfully self-indulgent, insular quality. It’s not made for you but for them, you see, which makes for a surprisingly entertaining interior world, a place to get lost in.

--Darren Loucaides

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28 March 2012
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
Andrew J. Polhamus
5.0 out of 5 starsShreds, bops and stares at its shoes
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4.0 out of 5 starsYou can hear the influences, but they are well-chosen
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