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Given the rate at which they’ve been accumulating plaudits and column inches over the past couple of years for their gnarly post-grungey noise rock dirge-pop, on the back of two excellent albums on Sacred Bones, it’s no surprise to see that The Men’s out of print debut album has been remastered and reissued so the fanboys can complete the set without having to pay top dollar on eBay or Discogs to hear this stuff.
It sounds great, too! While I do appreciate the more pop-focused direction they’ve taken with their latest LP, the noise-rock elements of their sound are the parts that interest me the most, and a lot of the time on this album they keep things slow, distorted and heavily psychedelic, with drifting overdriven guitar tones crumbling sinuously around one another in a way that recalls Harvey Milk and the Melvins but also the strangely mournful doom-psych-gaze drift of the excellent recent S ND Y P RL RS album.
At times it’s slow but soulful, the tones dirty and cracked but expertly recorded, at others it’s got more of a shoegazey psych-grunge feel that reminds me of golden era Sub Pop also-rans Love Battery or a slowed-down Mudhoney. It’s not really until the penultimate track that we get much of a glimpse of the uplifting noise-pop energy of the most recent LP before they close on a distorted hypno-rant that reminds me of Sauna Youth. This album isn’t as tuneful as their two Sacred Bones albums but for my money it’s at least as good. I was prepared for it to be pretty ropey but actually it’s very much a finished product.
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