Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Men, live @ An Club (Athens, February 11, 2012)

They are called The Men, but they are actually (at least on stage) three men and one woman. They have named their latest album "Leave Home" in tribute to the Ramones but they don’t sound too much like them (not to me, anyway). They do, however, make one hell of a noise that would make Mudhoney or Dinosaur Jr. proud and their psych-rock jams sound even more appealing live than on record.

This was the first Athens show of the rising Brooklyn noise rockers that came at a time that we really needed a hard-hitting, ear-splitting rock show to get our minds off our troubles for a little while. And, truly, for at least an hour or so nothing could be further from my mind than the crumbling state of our national economy. 

The Men played a wall-shaking, intense set that sounded more focused than the exhilaratingly loud but wildly chaotic "Leave Home" and were at their best when delivering their shorter, faster noise punk bombs like the excellent "Bataille" or the new "Open Your Heart" from the forthcoming, same-titled album. With more tracks like this one (and perhaps a bit improved production) something tells me that the new LP which drops in March on Sacred Bones could see this band rising to new heights. We’ll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, check out one of the surprises of their set - their lean, mean cover of The Boys Next Door track "Somebody’s Watching Me":

The Men - Somebody's watching me, live @ An Club

The gig opened by the equally loud local hardcore punk act Ruined Families (we could use a hardcore revival right now, methinks) who delivered an explosive half-hour set at breakneck speed and by psychedelic garage rockers Acid Baby Jesus. The latter’s recent self-titled LP which got an international release by Slovenly Recordings, has raised the popularity of the band and I think they could easily have filled the club by themselves. In the year and a half since the last time I saw them, Acid Baby Jesus have grown into a fully-fledged garage-rocking machine that not only performs at the highest levels of adrenaline but is also able to put on a veritable rock’n’roll show, with impressive guitar theatrics that can sweep the fans off their feet and send them crowd-surfing in no time. A very fine, noisy rock’n’roll night indeed.

Acid Baby Jesus, live @ An Club

Ruined Families, live @ An Club

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