Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Men - Open Your Heart (Sacred Bones, 2012)

With only one listen, I immediately knew that Open Your Heart by The Men was going to be on repeat for a very long time, and it certainly has been since the day it was released in early March.  When the very first guitar riff on the track "Turn It Around" fell upon my ears, my hands went straight up in the air, and my fingers formed the infamous sign of the horns. Then came "Animal", and that invisible air guitar fell into my arms as my body formed itself into a crazy rock pose as if by magic. "Country Song" is just so beautiful and made me think (which I rarely like to do, but I had to make an exception), while the guitar-work and drums on "Oscillation" and "Please Don't Go Away" left me wanting to know and to jam with these guys so bad. The title track, "Open Your Heart", reminds me so much of the music from one of my favourite bands (The Buzzcocks), and "Candy" is something my dad would have introduced me to as a kid, if it had existed, which would have shaped my life forever. "Cube" is total madness and grinding metal, while the track “Presence” starts quiet, builds up with the introduction of guitar, then drums, then a low humming mantra; the song finally climaxes into pure, perfect, shoegaze-y noise. The album ends with “Ex-Dreams”, and I’m left entranced with the sound of dual lead-guitars and crazy tuning reminiscent of Sonic Youth. Open Your Heart has everything and I don't say that often. In fact, the only other records that truly fall into my FUCK YEAH! music category are the Ramones first album and Exile on Main St. by the Stones.

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