The Men: “Tomorrow’s Hits”
[Sacred Bones Records, 2014]
by Taylor Gilliam
The garage-style punk rock has moved to the back burner as an influence rather than a focus. The band has brought in the sounds of surf and alternative country rock while leaning on classic rock riffs and instrumentals. They say that The Velvet Underground was a definite influence, after all.
The result is Tomorrow’s Hits from The Men, a Brooklyn-hailing five-piece that loves to make some noise. “My mom gave me this guitar, 1974, it’s true. Now there’s nothing I’d rather do,” Mark Perro of The Men sings, opening the band’s fifth studio album. Indeed, it took the band only four years to release five albums, and they have made leaps and bounds in their sound in that short time. Wikipedia lists The Men as a punk band, but I have to disagree. Tomorrow’s Hits incorporates so many more genres than pure punk or hardcore, even if the influences are subtle.
To give the record a category, I’d have to call it driving music. The combination of styles works, rather than resulting in an awkward cacophony. It can fade into the background, which isn’t terrible because not every album can be in your face, and it does not have to be. Don’t let it fade out before the end of opening track “Dark Waltz,” though. And don’t let my disclosure of that track being my favorite keep you from listening to the rest.
Otherwise, how will you be able to see how much The Men have grown?