By Kenny McMurtrie
If it was good enough for The Ramones then clearly it’s ok for fellow New Yorkers The Men to quit the city on this their third album. A number of influences on their sound have been bandied about but on first listen what came to mind for me was the early work of Helmet, with a nice nod to Spacemen 3/Mudhoney on fifth track ‘( )’.
That’s not to say that things are all heavy here. Opening track ‘If You Leave’ is psychedelic shoegaze that resembles a mashing together of Loop and Ride at their respective bests. Clocking in at just over seven minutes it’s quite the sweet trip. ‘Lotus’ takes the same sound into the next gear up but pounds along sans lyrics for only half of its predecessor’s length. If these men have a mission it could very well be to deafen as many people as possible.
Practically no space seperates tracks two and three as ‘Think’ screams onto the airwaves. This is seriously heavy stuff, the moodier slow parts of which are presentiments of what comes next on ‘L.A.D.O.C.H.’, a doom metal-speed dirge that outlives its welcome well before its six minutes are up. Hopefully its a parody. Either way it is by far the worst song on the album.
Thankfully its up, up, up from here on in with the aforementioned ‘( )’ quickly followed by ‘Bataille’ (bringing to mind The Saints), the almost surf instrumental ‘Shittin’ With The Shah’ (clearly something that didn’t happen any time recently) and finishing off with ‘Night Landing’, a hypnotically repetitive slice of robust Eighties-style punk. If they made this amount of noise in your basement you’d probably want them to move out too.