By Cal Meacham
The Men – Electric b/w Water Babies 7″ (2013)
The Men’s Open Your Heart was a lamp throwing, ruckus of a record. A nod to the pummeling records that The Stooges released in the early 70’s, The Men were loud but there were hooks and craftsmanship within the layers of noise. The first single from their upcoming long-player New Moon shows us they aren’t ready to turn down the distortion.
It is hard to believe that New Moon will sound drastically different from their previous output, and the first single “Electric” reassured us that they still have a gift for making memorable head beaters. The reverb and distortion are still front and center but it feels a little tighter, a little more focused. The vocals are clearer and less of a background scream without sacrificing any of the intensity. There are several bands attempting to make songs like this yet so few are able to harness all the different energies (The Japandroids come to mind).
B-side “Water Babies” reminded me of the great days of early 90’s indie rock (think Superchunk, The Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr.) with a chorus that is more focused on the vocals than a wall of distortion. This b-side in many ways shadows the single because it feels fresh while injecting that 90’s rock nostalgia. It’s sludgy rock with a pop chorus and vocals reminiscent of Lou Barlow aka, everything is perfect. “Water Babies” is a concise, two-minute wink and nod, and I will be curious to hear the other songs to see why this song didn’t make the cut for the long player.
This is excitement, this is expectations of something great. “Electric” is a glimpse at a band that is not sitting on their hands, instead they are energized and that has transferred to their fan base as well!