November 2013 National Music Reviews

Review: The Men – Campfire Songs

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The Men
Campfire Songs
Sacred Bones
Street: 10.15
The Men = Velvet Underground + Sebadoh
All bands evolve, but it seems Brooklyn’s The Men have been doing it exponentially since inception, from sprawling hardcore-influenced noise rock to standard rock/pop fare more recently. Hence the album title, the band has crafted a set of five acoustic-only tracks (three of which are re-recorded versions of existing and two are brand new) to astounding results. They’ve given New Moon tracks “I Saw Her Face” and “The Seeds” a haunting Appalachian forest makeover with ghostly howls and a lo-fi sheen, while “Turn Your Color” conjures the same effervescent sprawl of The Men at their most psychedelic. It enlists low-budget recording technology, a Kim Thayil–esque strings arrangement, vague folk conventions and a slowly undulating rhythm to bore its way into consciousness. Breathtaking and unique, it’s a bold (albeit softer) testament to the band’s staying power that should whet the appetites of noobs and longtime fans, stoking the fires of another phenomenal LP. –Dylan Chadwick
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