The Men have followed up last year's breakout Open Your Heart (one of my personal favorite records of 2012) with New Moon.
The Men are now a 100 million miles from their early droney noise records Immaculada and Leave Home ....BUT even compared to a record they just released less than a year ago, they sound like almost an entirely different band. on Open Your Heart they were still worshipping at the alter of 90s shoegaze and noise rock creating something to make all of our J. Mascis loving hearts proud. with New Moon it seems like the dudes in The Men have tossed out their Loop and Dinosaur Jr records and gotten really really really into early Wilco and Uncle Tupelo. Hey man, it happens. one day you just get burnt out on Shellac.
Not to say all is lost, some of the heavy spaced out Krautrock jams and layers of feedback still exist (especially on the psych-rock closer "Supermoon") but largely they have been phased out in favor of a more roots rockin' Americana sound. there's some obvious Neil Young & Crazy horse aping going on too, but if you are gonna steal then you might as well steal from the best. i'd almost call this album a let down if i was a whiny asshole who didn't allow bands to do different things but the songs are still so damn good that I ain't got too much worth complaining about.
if Open Your Heart was an A- 21st century rock n roll album, then New Moon is a solid B+. just don't be surprised when your Neil Young loving dad starts listening to these guys or they end up being the frat boy that goes to Bonnaroo every year's favorite new band. all in all it's another solid album from one of better current bands going.