All words: Travis M. Andrews
All photos: Stephanie Breijo
If you’re a lady seeking a man, The Men’s show is apparently the perfect place. Because, as it turns out, that’s what you’ll find at one the Brooklyn post-punk/country-punk/plain ole rock/whatever band’s shows. At least, it’s what was to be found in the sweaty, packed second-floor room of DC9 during the band’s shocking short set.
Here are some things to know about seeing The Men live: The band is loud. Like uncomfortably loud in the vein of Dinosaur, Jr. At the end of it, your ears are ringing (photographer Stephanie Breijo reports that hers are still ringing).
It’s like seeing your best friend’s garage band play in his actual garage. Hot, sweaty, cheap canned beer glued to every fans hand. The band itself just plays hard and fast. Even when it played “Candy,” that slow-ish song off Open Your Heart, the guys (sorry, Men) kick up a notch, adding a sonic speed and volume to it that’s missing on the album.
But, just like you’d expect from a band that came to fame for hocking a huge loogie in the middle of a song, these dudes don’t seem to care much for convention. As aforementioned, the set was shorter than 50 minutes long. There was no thought of an encore (which is totally the band’s fault … what are they supposed to do at DC9? Push through the dense thicket of plaid-covered men in the crowd only to push back through a few minutes later to the stage?). Instead of an encore, there was just an announcement that the band was out of weed.
As for song choice, it spanned the band’s albums, but you can only pack so much variety into a short set. I counted at least two new songs, along with two others I didn’t recognize. Spoiler alert: the new songs sound like the best they’ve ever written. Otherwise, though, it focused mainly on the newest album, New Moon.
Still, those things aside, the band was surprising clean throughout. Every guitar solo could be heard over the shredding sound, as could the electric piano. Even the harmonica, rarely employed, was clear as day.
This left the audience with a set that would end all too soon, an audience that didn’t want the set to ever end. At least, the back half of the audience. Short note to those up front: Don’t be so D.C. about a rock show. It’s a rock show. You’re allowed to move.
Then again, they were probably all deaf ten minutes into the set.
More photos of THE MEN:
Photos of NYC blues punks ORGANS–check ’em out here: