Release Date: Mar 2, 2018
Record label: Sacred Bones
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
A decade into a career where each year has seen the band shift in sound, Drift unsurprisingly finds The Men breaking from the stylistic touchstones of their preceding works. Yet the NYC four-piece’s seventh album is the first where such mutability occurs both at the micro and macro levels — that is, song to song but also with respect to what we’ve known the band to sound like. But each change can now be traced to a previous incarnation of The Men, providing a context that was not there the first time they went from post-punk raucousness to scrappy acoustic guitars to channeling the Stones.
The more the Men change, the more they stay the same. Over the course of a decade, the Brooklyn quartet have gone from rowdy noise rockers to Americana revivalists to fuzzed-out garage punks. As each phase came and went, founding members Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi continued to write hooky anthems that sounded like they should be wafting from classic muscle cars as they surge down a highway. But where their previous efforts were thrillingly straightforward, their seventh album is clunky and digressive.
Over the years a new record from The Men has become a tantalizing proposition. For the main part, their continued appeal has been driven by their restless evolution from noisy punks to intrepid explorers of rock's canon. What they proved with 2012's Open Your Heart was that they were capable of a successful growth beyond their noise rock origins, on Drift that gift eludes them.