>> Tuesday, 16 April 2013
The Men w/ The Hoots
Sunday, April 14th
The West End Cultural Centre
On Sunday evening, the Men mainly pulled from their two most recent albums -- Open Your Heart (2012) and New Moon (2013) -- but also previewed new material, which recent interviews suggest is ready for imminent release via Sacred Bones. If listening to their sound didn’t hint enough toward the influence, guitarist Kevin Faulkner adorned a 2008 North American Tour t-shirt of Winnipeg’s Golden Boy Neil Young. The show evoked the aggression of Young, particularly in his raw, Crazy Horse moments.
The Men blazed through the hour-long set with a professional, workman-like attitude, efficiently shared vocal responsibilities between the three guitarists and lone keyboardist. Very little banter was had. They closed with set highlight New Moon closer ‘Supermoon, and 8-minute, slow-building number that winds into a manic, yet methodical, jam. The Men have something that other bands towing the same musical line don’t – they have big hooks, intensity, variance, and undeniable songwriting consistency. It was a powerful, masculine-charged performance, and it’s clear that their relentless energy is not solely directed to their shows, but musical output too. Neil Young would, no doubt, have approved.
Fortune favored the few who had arrived prior to 8:30 with local act The Hoots (off I’m Trying Records) opening. They were great. Their shoegaze-psychedelica and sprawling, winding guitars paired muffled vocals fed nicely into the headliner’s set.
- Will Burton