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The Men

Open Your Heart

The Men
Brooklyn, NY four-piece the Men have made a habit out of confounding expectations, abandoning sounds quicker than a pop star changes costumes. Just as the bleak noise of their debut gave way to the warped hardcore of last year's much lauded Leave Home, their third effort sounds like a lost collaboration between Bob Mould and the Replacements. Linking these disparate styles is the visceral power the Men bring to everything they do. Even on their surprise detour into country, on appropriately titled instrumental "Country Song," the reverb ripples around your eardrums as if you were standing next to an amp in the studio. During their latest transformation, the band developed some tremendous hook writing chops that until now were barely hinted at. Jam-y album closer "Ex-Dreams" contains some of the record's best melodies, while "Please Don't Go Away" and the title track could have been alt-rock radio hits two decades ago. But Open Your Heart's greatest triumph is its ability to hearken back without feeling retro. The comparisons to '80s American underground luminaries come more from the live-off-the-floor feel than any stylistic trope the Men have absorbed into their arsenal of sounds.
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