Album of the day: The Men – Leave Home

As we move towards the end of 2011, here’s a worthy record that we overlooked the first time around earlier this year. Lovingly pinched from Pitchfork: Nothing is sacred to the Men. For one, this Brooklyn quartet’s name is pretty much identical to that of fellow New Yorker JD Samson’s active post-Le Tigre project, MEN. Their 2010 sophomore release, Immaculada, featured a caterwauling noise-punk thrasher called ‘Oh Yoko’ that had absolutely nothing to do with the classic John Lennon song, or Ms. Ono herself, for that matter.

Their new album swipes its title from a legendary record by New York’s most famous punk band, the Ramones. And part way through the obliquely titled mid-album track ‘( )’, when the band realize they’re ripping off the fuzz-bomb riff to Spacemen 3’s ‘Revolution‘, they just go ahead and swipe a line from the song too, and cap it with another quote from Spacemen’s ‘Take Me to the Other Side’ for good measure. And yet: For all the cheeky references and inside jokes at play on the Men’s Leave Home, you’d be hard-pressed to find a purer, no-bullshit, serious-as-a-heart-attack rock record released this year.

Listening to Leave Home feels a lot like living inside of Michael Azerrad’s 1980s indie-rock tome Our Band Could Be Your Life, variously bringing to mind Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.’s SST stints, Sub Pop-vintage Mudhoney, and Touch and Go-era Butthole Surfers (who surely would approve of a song title like ‘Shittin’ With the Shah’). Tellingly, Azerrad’s book ties up its narratives the moment its subjects signed to majors– partly because, technically speaking, they ceased to be indie rock at that point but, more importantly, because those artists produced their most enduring, groundbreaking music while recording for independent labels.

Leave Home is likewise a frozen tableau of that tipping point, imagining a parallel universe in which your favorite first-wave indie-rock bands never had to sign on corporate letterhead, never got anywhere near MTV, never toned down their act, and never got old– they just kept on blowing minds at the peak of their powers in perpetuity.

Continue reading: The Men: Leave Home | Album Reviews | Pitchfork.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 11:59 am and is filed under 2011, Album of the Day, Roadburn Recommended . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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