The Men man up; “Leave Home”
You know what’s awesome?
Real punk music, like the kind you heard for the first time and thought “What is this garbage?”. The kind where the words are terrible, the singers are worse and the “music” jars your very existence. But it spoke to you, man. It led you down that path of self destruction when everyone around you was trying to get ahead in their career and you just thought “F**k it”.
For those of you that weren’t around for the birth of punk (and who am I kidding, neither was I), the new release from The Men, “Leave Home” is a great way to get that special, guttural feeling that was felt 40 years ago. Sure, parts of the album sound like something the Stone Roses might have birthed (see “If You Leave” as evidence), but when they rock out, by God they rock out in spades. Most of the album is drenched in feedback and overdrive, giving it that hedonistic slush that makes you wish you could find your dad’s leather jacket and some safety pins.
Yet despite staying true to its punk origins, it’s actually quite a musical piece of work, for want of a better word. You can detect the guitar somewhere in there, and it’s aggressive, forceful, but melodic and unpredictable; think almost free jazz style. Also relevant is the length of the tracks – the shortest on the album is just over three minutes, longer than most punk recordings in history. This gives the noise time to work its way inside your head and get into your being, and it’s enjoyable. It could be the soundtrack to a political revolution, or at the very least, a quick riot.
I won’t be surprised if this album ends up bellowing in my ears while I’m tearing down the ski hill this winter; as a matter of fact, I look forward to it. The Men seem to be heading the revival, saying that hey, the world is in a messed up state, and you probably can’t fix it, so you may as well jump and thrash and sweat. We’ll just be over here detuning our guitars.