New Moon

New Moon

New Moon opens up with a tune that sounds like something Wilco or The Jayhawks might have done in their formative years—bringing The Men's fans to ask, what gives? The countrified melody and plucky guitar, mandolin, and piano on “Open the Door” jaunt along like a confident charlatan in a roomful of over-boozed innocents. Are they toying with us? Nah. They’re just pushing boundaries, and on their fourth album, The Men force back the edges song by song. The next tune, “Half Angel Half Light,” saunters a bit more aggressively (as if our charlatan is hurriedly leaving the over-boozed and bamboozled crowd) before the record tumbles open full bore with the clamorous “Without a Face.” They take a step back to tumbleweed town on the White Fences–ish “Seeds” before pushing the pedal to the floor for a little Crazy Horse homage on “I Saw Her Face.” When the pummeling, bruising “The Brass” explodes in a rage of glorious fury, it’s so profoundly visceral you might need to sit down. Honestly, what can’t these guys do? We like ‘em best when they scare the heck out of us on songs like “The Brass” and “Supermoon,” but it’s all amazing.

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