The Men have never disguised their appreciation for what's come before. The Brooklyn band's 2011 effort, Leave Home, for instance, includes references, nods to, and swipes of some of rock 'n' roll's more revered acts. But it's always playful and cheeky — a borrowed song title or album name here, a recognizable riff or melody there. Open Your Heart, the band's latest, doesn't dispense with the throwback tunes, but it's the kind of rock 'n' roll party few others can get so raging these days. Let's forget about that Stooges "comeback" record, shall we. (And it makes you think, man, it's been a decade since Andrew W.K. made a big splash. Even then, The Men aren't as cheesily cheerleader-y as he is.) With four songwriters among 'em, it seems natural that each album would present new sounds and fresh interpretations of old ideas. Leave Home twisted shoegaze-y washes of sounds, but mostly gone are that album's curdled bad vibes, replaced with a lot of pop-leaning sounds, pulling on some swampy backwoods twang, as well. (Not in a country way, though — more like CCR rocking out with some serious up-all-night-no-wait-that-was-two-nights-straight weirdness underpinning everything.) There's tons of name-dropping and referencing in this blurb to get you through the rest of the year — just know that if you dig rock music, and all its weird permutations and side trips, then The Men should be right up your alley. Open your heart, and your ears, to them.
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