All music is reviewed by the fine folks at Gravity Records, located at 612 Castle St. Visit them here.
Sacred Bones Records 2013
Recorded in a cabin in the Catskills, New Moon finds a group that has shed its post-hardcore tendencies for more of a Full Moon Fever (Tom Petty) influence. A feat accomplished successfully, The Men managed to retain their sonic thumbprint even if not physically recognizable as they once were.
Shortly after the release of the band’s second album, Open Your Heart, The Men parted ways with bassist Chris Hansell, who was responsible for the more abrasive songs in their repertoire. Hansell’s punk tendencies were no longer in-step with The Men’s ever-changing sound. A large part of the change came with producer Ben Greenberg, who was not only promoted to Hansell’s former position but immediately began singing and songwriting with founding members Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi.
What are the results of all of this change? New Moon is the most cohesive release from The Men yet—an effort that sees a group of guys growing into what they profess (and want) to be. Acoustic guitars are front and center (think more scrape and clang rather than old white-guy strumming). Lap steel and harmonica are common place amongst songs that still sound startling reminiscent of The Men we have “grown” to love.
And that is the key word for The Men these days: grown.
Merge Records 2013
Clocking in at 35 minutes (2 minutes longer than his previous personal best), Dormarion finds Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) stepping ever-so-slightly outside of his melodic indie pop-rock comfort zone. This is in-part due to Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) coming out from behind the board and Spoon’s Jim Eno hopping into the Captain’s seat. This changing of the guard results in a tougher heftier sound for Lerner who doesn’t shy away from expanding Telekinesis’ sonic footprint on his third release.
In addition to new soundscapes, there are new instruments for Telekinesis this time around, as well as Lerner toying around with synth-pop sounds on a few tracks throughout Dormarion. Although beefier with more to chew on and digest than any of his previous efforts, Dormarion still sounds remarkably like what it is at its most basic element: a new Telekinesis album. And, honestly, wouldn’t we’d be disappointed if it didn’t?