Normally her face is stuck to the camera, standing in the same spot, trying to snag a shot in the shitty blue Biltmore Cabaret light. She protects her pints from spilling under the speaker and enjoys show after show, many blending together in memory.
But for Brooklyn’s the MEN (not New York’s MEN, the JD Samson joint), her face keeps turning around, leaving the camera and the stage, to look at her friends, wide-eyed and excited. Her friends nod back. One mouths “WOAH.” To her left, another music writer known only for losing his shit to Guided By Voices atypically rocks out dancing. HOLY CRAP! THIS IS SO GOOD!
Call them what you want – there’s a bucket marked post-punk with the MEN’s name on it sitting in every review, now including this one. Punk is the scattershot fuzz of the old-old stuff. But mix in the newer stuff, the heart of the country/Americana (or Canadiana if you’re going down the Rust Never Sleeps route) stuff, and you’ve got a frenetic and compelling blend live.
Guitarist Ben Greenberg took the most crazy risks/leads, throwing his energy into massive string bending and lurching about the stage. Mark Perro handled the piano, acoustic, and harmonica. Nick Chiericozzi took rhythm. Kevin Faulkner and Rich Samis epically powered the back end on bass and drums. Ben, Nick and Mark swapped vocals.
Latest album New Moon (“Half Angel Half Light”, “I Saw Her Face”, “The Brass ” and “Electric” among them), and Open Your Heart tracks featured most heavily, but it was the Hüsker Dü-like fuck-yeah intensity that caused the girl to turn around to her friends. In other words, holy crap, The MEN live? Sooo good. \m/