The Men Ready New Album
The Brooklyn rock band The Men have a new album -- but they're not ready to discuss details just yet. "I don't want to talk too much about that, because we still have two records out," says Ben Greenberg, the band's bassist, laughing gently.
Photograph by Carrie Schechter
The Men emerged on the radar of independent music fans in 2011, with their album Leave Home, a furious hurricane of thrashing guitar that jump-started conversations about the return of muscular rock n' roll. But resting within all that noise, was a firm sense of direction, the idea, always, that the band knew what they were doing and how they were going to go about doing it. The Men were and are fiercely collective, a fact which accounts for the unity of their sound, and also explains their discipline in all other facets of industry life.
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"Most bands these days tend to be one person's ideas and the musicians they decide will play with them," says Greenberg. "We all grew up checking out bands that were bands, that weren't just a front-person and backing band. Bands that were a hive mind."
Leave Home garnered The Men a wave of enthusiastic press, much of it from journalists who saw the record as the reincarnation of a kind of take-no-prisoners rock 'n' roll. But the band has firmly refused to even flirt with the idea of being pinned down. In an interview with Mother Jones, Rich Samis, objected to the idea that a band should embrace a single category of sound, citing comparisons to bands like Sonic Youth and The Replacements as particularly irksome.
Hand-wringing about being put in a box is par for the course for many bands. But The Men have walked the walk since Leave Home, adding an unpredictable combination of classic Southern rock, country, and krautrock to their repertoire. Their 2013 projects, New Moon and Campfire Songs, harness all those sounds to a rustic sensibility which harnesses the band's penchant for chaos, bringing an order to the ideas that they've incorporated over the last three years.
"I think that there is a core sound that has stayed there from the very first record," Greenberg says. "It's just a feeling and an energy. Even as the records certainly sound very different, there's a pervasive spirit there for sure. I don't really know what to call it; it's just a feeling I get when I listen to it."