The Men, "Tomorrow’s Hits"
The Men, "Tomorrow's Hits" (Courtesy Photo)
The Men are almost an entirely different band than the one that debuted with ear-assaulting rock of Immaculada. Last year's New Moon was an abrupt shift toward Americana, and Tomorrow's Hits finds the band polishing and experimenting with the sound.

The music isn't untread territory. “Another Night” is adorned with Springsteen-worthy sax lines. “Different Days” is driven by simple, yet punchy electric organ. “Sleepless” aimlessly ambles along with a Dylan-esque folksiness. Yes, you'll hear a harmonica in there. Gone is the cacophony of raging guitars, and in its place, something almost jammy. Especially on a song like “Pearly Gates,” where they're hammering away at any instrument they can get their hands on, they're embracing a free-wheeling style.

It's not so much a stretch, when you consider how out of control The Men's early stuff could feel. New Moon's “Saw Her Face” showed a predilection for cutting loose -- it was recorded in one long and wild take. The difference this time is that they actually recorded in a studio, not a bedroom or a barn. Tomorrow's Hits is more of a production than anything the band has done before.

The grandness of it all is what makes the record good. Again, the music isn't anything particularly interesting.

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It's infectious, though, and impressive for the intensity with which they're going for.