The Men

The Men

Honey, Brandy*

Sat, March 3, 2018

8:00 pm

Union Pool

Brooklyn, NY

$12.00 - $15.00

The Men - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
The Men
Drift is the seventh full-length by NYC rock polymaths The Men, and it marks their tenth year as a band. The band’s last album, the self-released Devil Music, was the sound of a band who had been through hell hitting reset and looking to their roots to rediscover themselves. On Drift, The Men return to their longtime label Sacred Bones Records and explore the openness that Devil Music helped them find.

The immediately evident result of that exploration is the experimental quality of much of the material on Drift. Songwriters Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi chase their muses down a few dozen thrilling rabbit-holes over the course of the album’s nine tracks. The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. The lone exception, “Killed Someone,” is a rowdy riff-rocker, worthy of the finest moments of the band’s now-classic Leave Home and Open Your Heart albums. The rest of the album drives down stranger highways. “Secret Light” is an improvisation based on an old piano riff of Perro’s. “Maybe I’m Crazy” is a synth-driven dancefloor stomper for long after last call. “Rose on Top of the World” and “When I Held You in My Arms” are paisley-hued, psyched-out jams with big, beating hearts.

The album was recorded to 2" tape with Travis Harrison (Guided by Voices) at Serious Business Studios in Brooklyn. A whole pile of instruments was involved — synths, strings, sax, steel, harmonica, tape loops, on top of the usual guitar, bass, and drums. Unlike recent releases from The Men, there aren’t many overdubs on Drift — a reflection of the personalities of its makers becoming less frantic, Chiericozzi suggests. In fact, the band removed a lot of the additional parts they tried adding early on, giving the final product a bit of a ghostly feel. The songs on Drift took giant leaps and trips from their beginnings only to find the band returning to the first spark of creation.
Honey - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Honey
Although this Brooklyn trio is probably too goddamn youthful to care what the hell I'm talking about, there's a consistent vibe to their debut album that puts me in mind of great Cleveland bands of the last century -- from The Mirrors to Friction to Death of Samantha and onward. Something about the way Dan Wise's guitar mixes with both his singing, and that of Cory Feierman's, reminds me of naught but a Lake Erie fish fry. And the rhythm section, with Cory on bass and Will Schmiechen on drums, bears down on these twinned howls in a way that makes it possible to catch whiffs of the Dead Boys at their sharpest.

Perhaps this geographical anomaly results from the fact that Honey's line-up contains two veterans of the Wisconsin Dells water park scene and a native New Yorker, creating a mutant hybrid Ohioan in the process. But that is just theory.
The reality is that these guys are punching a lot straighter and harder than they did with previous units they've been in, and the results are a loud and royal blast. You still get a soupçon of sophisto texture deep in the interior of some of the tunes' architecture, but the main trajectory of the material has a brutalist immediacy. There are even parts where Coryʼs voice conjures up a bellow recalling the long- gone Wolf King of Lodi. But all the tunes hit your head like a fox terrier shot from a bazooka.

This is a great, hard-edged slice of rock noise that blazes with a light far more forthright than I'd dared expect. How very fucking cool is that? --Byron Coley
Brandy*
NOT THAT BRANDY
Venue Information:
Union Pool
484 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://www.union-pool.com/