The Men - Leave Home (Cover Artwork)

The Men

Leave Home (2011)

Sacred Bones Records

The Men are on that careful edge of breakout stardom in music circles due to their second release, Leave Home. It's eight tracks of pure garage noise, mixed in with nice helpings of hardcore reminiscent of bands like Black Flag and Pissed Jeans. The music goes from psychedelic landscape to ferocious spontaneity due to the very nature of the members themselves. It's like a bad acid trip through a sweltering hot punk show. For one moment you have a nice, fuzzy/garage type feel for a song like "Think," but then are slapped on the ears a track later once "L.A.D.O.C.H." approaches and the intensity steps up to sheer levels of spastic insanity, courtesy of singer Nick Chiericozzi. At times the guy resembles Gibby Haynes or Michael Gera, but then switches around to a more swaying nature in which the psychedelic undertones stretch forth and become a nicer feel instead of an ugly one.

The band's debut album, Immaculada, was served with a more shoegaze/wall-of-sound style, but only traces of that remain here. For the most resemblance to that statement, look no further than the weirdly named track "( )." An ode to the band Spacemen 3 is there with the line "Take me for a ride / Take me to the other side," and is used to great effect in that drowned in sound creation. It's fitting, seeing as how Spacemen 3 were straddling the boundaries between psychedelic garage and shoegaze way before other bands were, and the Men seem to respect that. The use of psychedelia is warranted when done in a good way, and "Shittin' with the Shah" proves that theory even more with its sun tanning length and mirage-like qualities. Other bands such as No Age and the Black Lips use this vintage remembrance to great effect, the latter being perhaps the best, but by no means does this put the Men in the same league. There is more intensity here. All carefully collected, but sounding like it was hastily thrown together in a fit of rage. Perhaps a freak mind trip created in one, 41-minute duration, but broken up into eight parts? It's good work regardless and feels almost effortless. A sort of "off the top of your head" thing.

This Brooklyn four-piece is one of the newcomers springing forth from a city that used to be known for gritty, ugly music. The Men, as well as lablemates like Pop. 1280, seem to share the same qualities of underbelly street life. It feels like dangerous music; angry music. Mass confusion at a time when confusion sets in and people are pissed because they can't figure out any answers. This isn't fun music by any stretch, but it is music of a more personal and perhaps, relatable nature. It's also damn good too.