The Men – New York City

The Men have been creating riotous proto punk for over 15 years now. They return with their ninth album and first for Fuzz Club Records. New York City channels the energy and raw power of The Stooges and MC5 morphing into the hard hitting, scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll you would expect from this band.

The band took these songs into the studio and recorded each cut live to tape to capture the raw energy of the performances. Here’s how they describe the album.

“New York City’ is a record that doesn’t stop moving for a second, packed full of the kind of energy you can only really capture in a live setting. These songs became the blood of the band as the band could only exist for and of these songs. There was no place else to hang their hats. Without making this record, the group would not exist, so there really wasn’t another option. NYC is fluid. It means a lot of different things to all kinds of people. We present the record in that spirit.”

We come barrelling out the gate with the breathless ‘Hard Livin’’. If ever a song sounded like it should be performed on stage in CBGBs then this is it!! Guitars at eleven, vocals maxing out the meter and drums sound massive! This is a statement of intent!

We segue neatly into ‘Peace of Mind’ without missing a beat. Whilst this track rocks as hard as the last song the chorus here has an undeniable hook that you can’t help but nod along to.

‘Echo’ is a darker sound, Guitar’s chug along but it isn’t until the false stop mid song that our first soaring solo erupts from the speakers. There’s an authentic sixties garage rock approach to this song that tickles this Nuggets loving author.

‘God Bless The USA’ seems to tackle the myriad issues that country faces. “There’s a fire burning in the USA” sings Nick Chiericozzi. The band rattle along at a blistering pace The Ramones would be hard pressed to maintain.  

After that intro to the album the pace drops on the doomy ‘Eye’. The opening lyric sounds like its being screamed from Chiericozzi’s boots. Drums slow and steady guide us through the dirty back alleys of the city at night. Things take a psychedelic turn in the chorus with a washed-out warbling effect being added to the vocals. And the guitar solo!! Wow! This is my album stand out track!

“Eternal Recurrence” next whilst maintain the edgy guitars ventures into power pop with its luscious backing vocals and a melodic vocal delivery which is committed to throughout the song.  This band aren’t just a one trick pony and aren’t afraid to flex their creative muscles.

The Sabbath like intro to ‘Round the Corner’ morphs into a stomping sludge fest. Filling every corner with classic rock moments it’s a welcome respite from the pace of this album.

It’s only momentary though as we move back to full speed for ‘Through the Night’. It has this weird kinda spoken word part that really threw me at first but repeated listens have shown me that, man, it works.

‘Anyway I Found You’ has all the swagger of a Heartbreakers number. It’s alt country rock vibe amplified by the slide guitar and dual vocals. This is a neat reminder of this bands range.

The album concludes with the expansive ‘River Flows’. This is probably the most organic track on the album. Swampy groove driven guitars, the rawest of vocal deliveries and a rhythm section nailed to the beat make this a joy to experience. A sure footed close to a great album.

New York City is a great, balls to the wall, rock ‘n’ roll album. It was an inspired move to capture these songs live in one take. You can tell this band is at their best in this setting. It’s testament to their years of experience that it comes off so natural.

New York City is available on white vinyl now from the amazing Fuzz Club Records and over on Bandcamp.

You can follow The Men on social media here…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: