The Men Tomorrow's Hits

The Men Tomorrow's Hits
8
Why the Men to abandoned noisy, hardcore punk and turned themselves into Crazy Horse remains one of the great musical mysteries, but on their fifth LP in as many years, the Brooklyn band completes the transition. As its title implies, Tomorrow's Hits sees the band honing the sound of last year's New Moon into a tight collection of pop-minded rock songs.

However, there's nothing forward thinking about this record. These eight tracks sound like lost gems from The Basement Tapes, even channeling some Band-like phrasing on album opener "Dark Waltz," on which Mark Perro sings "my mom gave me this guitar/ 19 and 74/ and it's true/ now there's nothing I'd rather do." Elsewhere, they continue their '70s rock explorations: "Another Night" is built around a rhythmic piano riff with a healthy dose of saxophone, while "Sleepless" finds a laidback countrified groove with some nice lap steel work courtesy of Kevin Faulkner.

Despite the pop-craftsmanship, the band still eschew pop sheen, once again opting for a raw and loud production aesthetic that remains the primary lifeline to their punk roots. The Men have always worn their influences on their sleeves with pride, but as they move forward it's becoming increasingly clear that they most resemble the Replacements, a band who similarly shifted sonic allegiances throughout their career, expectations be damned. And when they keep producing albums as good as this, who can fault them? (Sacred Bones)