The Men: "Electric"
from New Moon (Sacred Bones; 2013)
By Maura McAndrew | 17 January 2013
The Men, bless them, just don’t seem interested in taking breaks. After two successful records in as many years, another kind of band might be getting a little itchy, ready to explore other sounds, splinter off into side projects or finally try that electronic or concept album they’ve always envisioned. But the Men, like their name, are no-bullshit; they want to rock and feel good while doing it. And why pause or change course when a band has built the momentum these guys have? “Electric,” the first single from March’s New Moon, shows that they’re still riding the wave of inspiration that has continued, unabated, since 2011’s riotous Leave Home. Even the first lines indicate how truly in it they are, so ready to be the rock band that we want them to be: “Sit here and enjoy this song / We might not be here long / Surround me / Surround me.”
But there’s more: just because they haven’t made any sharp turns doesn’t mean the Men are standing still. “Electric” improves upon Open Your Heart rockers like “Animal” in that it’s a little bit sharper and tighter, the hook slightly more memorable. It catapults fearlessly into action on the strength of a clean, thick guitar sound, but rather than splattering all over the place, the song lands confidently, though doesn’t feel over-thought. It’s also lots of fun, with a wound-up, Hüsker Dü chorus and extra stoopid verses like “Holy water on your tongue / Might be a neutron bomb” (or…something like that?). It’s nonsense, of course, but it’s noisy and swaggering and cool as fuck. It’s not precious; it’s effortless. And that’s the Men. Let’s just sit here and enjoy it, as they advise, and vanquish all fears of a future in which they feel the need to become something else.