Say Psych: Album Review: The Men – Drift

Brooklyn’s The Men are set to release their seventh LP Drift on 2nd March 2018 on Sacred Bones Records to coincide with their 10th anniversary.

The band’s last album, Devil Music, was the sound of a band who had been through the motions before hitting reset and going back to the beginning and rediscovering themselves in the process. Drift sees songwriters Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi chasing their muses over the course of the album’s nine tracks. The album was recorded to 2″ tape with Travis Harrison at Serious Business Studios in Brooklyn and involved an interesting array of instruments were involved; synths, strings, sax, steel, harmonica, tape loops, on top of the usual guitar, bass, and drums. Yet unlike previous releases, there aren’t many overdubs on Drift. In fact, the band removed a lot of the additional parts they tried adding early on, giving the final product a bit of a ghostly feel.

Opener ‘Maybe I’m Crazy’ waists no time in laying down the albums intention with its stomping beat, haunting synth riff and a Prince inspired vocal style; this is one that is sure to get the feet moving. ‘When I Held You in My Arms’ thrusts a throbbing bass line forth alongside a twinkling piano harmony and evocative lyrics, this is one for the lovers. ‘Secret Light’ proffers a jazz vibe, with a groovy sax and piano interplay; an improvisation based on an old piano riff created by Perro. The fast paced edgy vocals add an extra element that marks the track out from the norm. ‘Rose on Top of the World’ channels more traditional psychedelic vibes with an acoustic guitar melody and a stripped raw feel.

‘So High’ has a Western style, due to the use of a harmonica and a lap steel, an entrancing sound which is commonly associated with other NYC band Psychic Ills before ‘Killed Someone’ with its raw rock power bursts forth and nothing is quite the same again. ‘Sleep’ like so many tracks that precede it with the same name is dream entrenched and hauntingly beautiful and ‘Final Prayer’ melts harmoniously alongside, with the clever track placement suiting the two well. Concluding ‘Come to Me’ is the perfect way to end, leaving the listener sated yet wanting that little bit more.

The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. The album twists and turns as the band explore sound effectively and there is something for everyone. As a fairly new initiate to the sound of The Men, I consider myself converted to their cause.


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