“When everyone left NYC, the sewer opened and we crawled out.” Following recent cut “Hard Livin’’, Brooklyn heavyweights The Men are today releasing another taste of their inbound ‘New York City’ LP in the shape of the searing new single ‘God Bless The USA’. Arriving following 2020’s ‘Mercy’, the band’s ninth album is released February 3rd 2023 on Fuzz Club Records and marks a return to the more scuzzy and abrasive rock ploughed over their decade and a half spent coursing through the grimy sewers of NYC.
On the recently-announced ‘New York City’, nocturnal proto-punk meets a timeless, hard-rocking gusto and latest single ‘God Bless The USA’ is a suitably rollicking R&B scorcher. A white-knuckle wig-out soundtracking a nation in decline, Nick Chiericozzi says of the track: “I woke up with this melody in my head, went into the kitchen and grabbed my guitar amidst constant infuriating headlines and a lot of Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran. It’s not a statement on anyone or anything in particular – at the end of the day, it’s all going down in flames.”
That the album leans into a more primitive, back-to-basics sound owes largely to the way in which it was forged. “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 record was first completed with a slightly different tracklist by founding members Chiericozzi and Mark Perro alone in late 2020 using a drum machine, but that was shelved in favour of the sound of four people (Perro and Chiericozzi joined by drummer Rich Samis and bassist Kevin Faulkner) playing in a room together.
The end result is a series of cuts played live and recorded to 2″ tape in Travis Harrison’s (Guided By Voices, Built To Spill) Brooklyn studio. ‘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. 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. NYC is fluid. It means a lot of different things to all kinds of people. We present the record in that spirit.”