The Men : Open Your Heart
The third album from the Californian punk/rock/shoe-gaze/psych quartet is, as that list of genres would suggest, a collision of influences. Open Your Heart is thirty years of rock music reinterpreted into one 2012 album. Opener Turn It Around is both parts presumably and absurdly inspired by early FooFighters, while Animal is saturated in early ‘90s pre-grunge punk. Then there’s Country Song and Candy. Ahem, Hello there? Now where did you both come from!? The oscillating and droning guitar melody and slow-jam pace of Country Song comes as a jolting surprise as does the twanging lead riff and slacker folk of Candy. Open Your Heart is at odds with the currently dominant ultra-shiny, synth rock that is everywhere at the moment but may be too derivative for some. It’s strange that a band that is so unashamedly documenting the past decades of rock, still manage to create an album that seems so entirely fresh on the current spectrum. At times on Open Your Heart, the band forgoes vocal melodies completely; while at others fill a song with all four voices. If nothing this displays yet another daring decision by the band that will be loved and loathed in equal measure. Entirely familiar to old-hat rock and punk fans and yet at the same time utterly new, Open Your Heart may require some to open their ears in order for it to be appreciated on its own merits.
BY KRISSI WEISS
Best Track: Candy
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: The last 30 years of rock
In A Word: Déjà (vu)