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Blistering band, bleeding ears

Girls and boys, the Men!

Brooklyn guitar-rock band the Men at Casbah
Brooklyn guitar-rock band the Men at Casbah

Over their last three albums, Brooklyn band the Men have evolved from their punk roots to more traditional rock. In fact, their most recent effort, Tomorrow's Hits, feels like a classic-rock album covered by a collection of scrappy punks. Not a bad combo.

Onstage, however, the Men still come across as the Men who love their punk rock. Even though plenty of songs from 2013's New Moon and this year’s Tomorrow's Hits were performed on this night, they were played at such velocity and ear-bleeding volume that any of their classic-rock charm got lost during the onslaught. At one point the band asked the crowd to move a bit closer to the stage. The gap between fans and band was probably less an insult to the Men than a buffer zone for concertgoers to save their eardrums from exploding due to the piercing treble blasting through the room. This was a loud show.

When I was perusing the stage gear before the band started, I noticed there was no saxophone, which, probably for the first time in my life, made me sad. I am no sax fanatic, but it is a key instrument in what I feel is the best song on Tomorrow's Hits, “Another Night,” which they did not play. We did, however, get blistering versions of “Dark Waltz” and “Going Down,” where mid-tempo-rock versions of each would've gone down even better. The Men seem to have learned to take a breath and slow down in the studio, now it is time to bring that same attitude to the stage.

  • Concert: The Men
  • Date: April 23
  • Venue: Casbah
  • Seats: General
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Brooklyn guitar-rock band the Men at Casbah
Brooklyn guitar-rock band the Men at Casbah

Over their last three albums, Brooklyn band the Men have evolved from their punk roots to more traditional rock. In fact, their most recent effort, Tomorrow's Hits, feels like a classic-rock album covered by a collection of scrappy punks. Not a bad combo.

Onstage, however, the Men still come across as the Men who love their punk rock. Even though plenty of songs from 2013's New Moon and this year’s Tomorrow's Hits were performed on this night, they were played at such velocity and ear-bleeding volume that any of their classic-rock charm got lost during the onslaught. At one point the band asked the crowd to move a bit closer to the stage. The gap between fans and band was probably less an insult to the Men than a buffer zone for concertgoers to save their eardrums from exploding due to the piercing treble blasting through the room. This was a loud show.

When I was perusing the stage gear before the band started, I noticed there was no saxophone, which, probably for the first time in my life, made me sad. I am no sax fanatic, but it is a key instrument in what I feel is the best song on Tomorrow's Hits, “Another Night,” which they did not play. We did, however, get blistering versions of “Dark Waltz” and “Going Down,” where mid-tempo-rock versions of each would've gone down even better. The Men seem to have learned to take a breath and slow down in the studio, now it is time to bring that same attitude to the stage.

  • Concert: The Men
  • Date: April 23
  • Venue: Casbah
  • Seats: General
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