Availability: Not in stock but we can order it in. We aim to ship in 3-5 days.
It must be dreadfully difficult for The Men to tie-down a consistent sort of fan base at this point, for every album they put out takes their legacy in a new direction. From the post-hardcore guitar wailing of Immaculada and Leave Home, through the more accessible indie and Americana influences of New Moon and Tomorrow’s Hits, back again to punk rock catharsis on Devil Music before yet a further about-turn for 2018’s a-bit-of-everything Drift. So, what about eighth album, Mercy? Well, for starters, it signifies the first time The Men have created three records in a row with the same line-up. But more importantly, Mercy finds the band exploring a classic rock sound. The kind of thing you might expect to find in a cool Dad’s 70s LP collection (so we’re not talking trash classic rock here). As ever, though, The Men are rarely without their urgency and energy and Mercy has it in spades. Mercy is available in a limited indie store exclusive purple swirl vinyl. A digital download is included.
Even at their less-than-incredible selves, The Men are still doing it better than many.
The Men’s steady slide into rustic country stars that followed those distant days as a harrowing post-hardcore band – and back again once or twice – make The Men one of rock music’s most un-pin-able groups. What we could expect to find on eighth album Mercy has been anybody’s guess.
As it goes, Mercy doesn’t diverge too far from the kitchen sink formula of 2018’s Drift; a country twang here, mud stomp rock there -- and what’s this up here? Oh, just a bluesy organ – nothing to see here. The Men are increasingly playing what the hell they like.
When last album Drift flitted between genres without a solitary fuck given for consistency or flow, it mostly worked. Its flagrant diversity made it a compelling, if not universally lauded, record. Mercy tries the same trick but this time isn’t so savvy.
Lead single ‘Children All Over The World’ is one of the band’s finest moments. Ever. That really is saying something for a band eight albums deep. A track that sees The Men for the first time experimenting with an ‘80s classic rock sound; big powerful drums, tangy ‘80s guitar, and a fizzing Van Halen synth-line to boot. One can’t help but feel we should have expected more of that on Mercy. But then who’s stupid enough to predict anything of rock music’s least predictable?
All told, Mercy feels like a mini album of odds and sods, built around two good tracks and one great one. The Men are unlikely to tarnish any former glories with Mercy; they’re built on a solid reputation these days of releasing whatever the fuck they like. With lucky dip rock and roll, you’ll cop a sour one eventually. Fortunately, even at their less-than-incredible selves The Men are still doing it better than many.