The Men – Tomorrow’s Hits

A joyable, nostalgic essence comes to mind when Tomorrow’s Hits is played.

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If The Men had have been around for the golden era of 50’s Rock N Roll, its fairly plausible that the Brooklyn band would be legends of the 21st Century. Tommorow’s Hits welcomes the bands fifth album in as many years, with smooth 50’s styles that easily transmutes into the sing and swing styles of 50’s diner jukebox tracks. Dark Waltz plays homage to both styles, with the simpler, swaying styles of Southern Country music with repeated riffs placed gracefully along classic Rock vocals from Perro, before drowned out by high velocity hooks.

Now finally, attaining a recording studio to produce an album in; The Men’s performance across the album appears much cleaner, more tame, practised beyond the lengths that their previous albums received. This crisp clear sound boasts a cleaner sound overall, but somehow The Men’s raw, buzzing, ludicrous shouting seems slightly disheartened.

For an eight track album as well, The Men have had to ensure that each song in the studio counts, with no dawdling that a regular 10+ track LP sometimes contains, just as Cloud Nothings had with their 3rd LP, Attack On Memory. Tomorrow’s Hits contrast to The Men’s earlier productions isn’t as volatile as Cloud Nothings third LP however. The Men have always oozed a charming sense of classic Country within their style, and at sometimes elements of late Jazz, that can easily digress to more thriving Rock melodies.

Another Night dives head first into America’s historical music background, reaching for a more soulful, Jazz induced format with nickelodeon piano tones, mixed with warming saxophone notes throughout. When accompanied by Perro’s occasional utterances; Another Night summarises the night out that starts just as any other night, and then becomes so much more; mainly because of great music. The Country styles of Tomorrow’s Hits is unavoidable for the most part. The chilled out, lyrical focus that draws strength from Country music, lies strongly within Sleepless and Settle Me Down; both boasting lazy, hazed, steady tapping productions, that rapidly tame the albums faster, more jiving tracks.

Pearly Gates is Tomorrow’s Hits, greatest hit, (reminiscent of New Moon’s Electric) with it’s energetic, fast paced, true Rock N Roll guitar riffs, fitted with Jazz-tastic rhythms of both soulful basses and grooving saxophone tones. If you can’t picture 50’s teens jiving along to this song, breaking into a Grease style performance, then you need shaking.

Tomorrow’s Hits polishes The Men’s nostalgic style further than New Moon managed to reach, thanks to a real recording studio fifth time round. This effect works stupendously for the Country styles of …Hit’s, with a crisper, sharper focus on the songs flow as both instrumentally determined and lyrically based.  On the critical side (astonishingly), this focus on a ‘real studio’ loses the magnetism slightly that the band so strongly claimed on all of their previous albums. The clear Rock N Roll tracks, Pearly Gates and Going Down sound inches away from being perfect Men songs, but they’re just on the other side of the glass begging to be let in.

7.7

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