March 7, 2013

The Men :: New Moon

If the Grateful Dead recorded a ramshackle punk rock version of American Beauty, it might sound something like New Moon, the fourth offering from Brooklyn band The Men. Though The Men's arsenal may seem a bit savage alongside the blissful tunefulness of "Box of Rain" and "Friend Of The Devil," there's a very loose and jolting live electricity to New Moon that recalls the Dead at their brightest and most appealing studio moments. Whether it's the, dare I say, jammy harmonica breaks in "Without A Face" or the rugged outlaw country vocals and harmonies on "The Seeds"—which sound as if they were laid down in the midst of a bender that's bled into the early morning—the record provides a charmingly raw and consistently sublime antithesis to all that is over-produced and tirelessly brushed clean. The Grateful Dead, even on their most polished studio offerings, were always a band that lived purely in the moment. And that's exactly what New Moon offers: a five-piece band with exceptional tour-earned interplay that doesn't bother to sand down any of the grit or roughness from its creative process for consumption, and instead pulls back the curtains to reveal a record that feels both warmly familiar and excitingly new.

Buy the record from Sacred Bones.

Youtube: The Men - "The Seeds"
Youtube: The Men - "Open The Door"

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