Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Men | New York City

Albums Of The Week: The Men | New York City

With its hard-driving collision of ’60s and ’70s rawk and proto-punk, the NYC crew's ninth LP earns its name. Though it could also be called Detroit, London or Cleveland.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When everyone left N.Y.C., the sewer opened and we crawled out,” prolific Brooklyn institution The Men say about their ninth studio album New York City. The followup to 2020’s Mercy marks a return to the more scuzzy and abrasive rock ploughed over their decade and a half spent coursing through the grimy sewers of their home town. Here, nocturnal proto-punk meets a timeless, all-guns-blazing rock ’n’ roll gusto.

That the album leans into a more primitive, back-to-basics sound owes largely to the way in which was forged — an earlier version of the record was scrapped in favour of four people playing in a room together. “The New York City album was revised, reorganized and shaped until it became clear that things fall into place like the hammer driving the nail or the scythe’s swipe through the tall grass,” The Men say. The result is a series of cuts played live and recorded to 2″ tape in the Brooklyn studio of Travis Harrison (Guided By Voices, Built To Spill).

New York City is a record that doesn’t stop moving for a second, packed full of the kind of energy you can only really capture in a live setting. “These songs became the blood of the band as the band could only exist for and of these songs,” they say. “There was no place else to hang their hats. Without making this record, the group would not exist, so there really wasn’t another option. N.Y.C. is fluid. It means a lot of different things to all kinds of people. We present the record in that spirit.”