The Men are a rock and roll band. The Men live for being a rock and roll band. In fact, without rock and roll the Men would just be men, stirring shit without a hope in the world. Luckily, it’s apparent four albums down the line that Nick Chiericozzi and the gang are very good are what they live for. Their last trio of albums has stamped the Brooklyn based band on the map as a staple in producing uncompromising rock. ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’ represents an extension of the ongoing trajectory the band have molded for themselves.
If you aren’t familiar with the Men, then Tomorrow’s Hits might strike you as an odd record. It’s boozy, yet refined, and clearly based on an old rock and roll formula. A formula that The Men clearly know they are adhering to, all you need to do is read the album’s title. It may not be breaking boundaries, but it doesn’t feel like an exhausted rehashing of their influences. The decision to record in a higher-tech studio; Brooklyn’s Strange Weather, has proved fruitful. By fleshing out ideas explored on the New Moon they’ve revitalized the tones of classic albums, such as ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ (listen for the guitar solo on ‘Dark Waltz’), and reworked their past endeavors with serious volume and speed to find their own middle ground. The brass section bellows and the keys flow in a gleefully retrospective fashion. Ultimately, it delivers a rich exploration of classic rock multiplied by the heart of an underdog.
While the same conviction and vigor of past albums shines through here, it seems that the velocity at which the Men have previously developed has declined. Many of the songs on ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’ resemble those heard on ‘New Moon’ and ‘Open Your Heart’, although the style and approach is more accomplished, the mystery surrounding the bands capabilities has dispersed.
Some might say that the Men have thrown in the towel by giving up on the speed and power that hides beneath songs like ‘Sleepless’ and ‘Pearly Gates’. But there is still life in this record and it snarls like a fucking tiger even though it’s not out to tear you apart anymore. Instead, The Men invite you into their party and hand you a drink, then another drink, and another, and another. The fun is here and it’s yours for the taking. It may not be illuminating, but it does reinforce some attractive rock and roll ideals that succeed in elevating the record way out of the lull of mediocrity.
Words: Evan Clements