The Men – Drift
Drift sees The Men return to Sacred Bones and higher production values, but in their typically skittish style can't see them settle on one particular style or genre
The Men are a strange band, always have been since their inception a decade ago. On their first two records, Immaculada and the excellent Leave Home they were firmly a 'noise-rock' band. The first remained fairly abstract and droney, while on the second they honed that sound-craft into some brilliantly brutal songs, of the likes that had not been much heard before or since. The Brooklyn four-piece then took that new emphasis towards crafting their noisy sound into a stronger set of songs on their best album, 2012's Open Your Heart.
Since then, however, the band seem to have been roaming the musical landscape, searching for a home. While they've never really put out a 'bad record' per se, they've never been as focused as they were on Open Your Heart, exploring their poppier and (perhaps surprisingly) 'country music' sides in the interim before returning to their lo-fi, noisy punk-rock roots on 2016's self-released Devil Music.
Drift sees the band return to Sacred Bones and higher production values, but in their typically skittish style The Men can't seem to settle on one particular style or genre. Tracks skip around, flirting with acoustic guitar ballads, noise-rock and even electronic music in its opening moments. Of course there's nothing wrong with having range, and there are plenty of pleasant enough moments on the band's seventh record as there are on all of them, but one wonders if they'll ever recapture that magic that briefly made them feel a bit special.
Listen to: Maybe I'm Crazy, Killed Someone, Rose on Top of the World