It was the middle of the week, but that didn’t stop many people from packing the Bunkhouse to watch critically acclaimed quintet The Men perform. Not to be confused with the short-lived, late-’80s rock band, The Men are a relatively new indie punk outfit hailing from Brooklyn, New York. They went through some growing pains in their early career, kicking out a prominent member and redirecting their sound from thrash-core ambience to a more focused, lyrical structure. Now out with their fourth studio album, New Moon, the crew has solidified a well-deserved following.
They have been described as melting surf rock with post-psychedelic and country. Unfortunately, that softer, twangy, more shoe-gaze side of them did not come out as much during their Las Vegas debut. Instead, they provided a fast-paced, heavy wave of elaborately orchestrated garage punk for the mosh pit-desiring crowd. The set list was probably decided upon based on the attendees—mostly young boys and, well, punk-seeking men. They slowed down only twice to play “I Saw Her Face,” a staple from their new album, and the powerfully layered “Presence,” from the highly respected Open Your Heart.
On their albums, The Men shine as extremely talented composers with a knack for balance and precision. Due to the size of the venue and lack of a full professional soundboard, the intricacies of their craft were lost. Despite the technical discrepancies, The Men still succeeded in getting heads spinning in the crowd. It was a show completely worth the temporary loss of hearing. ★★★☆☆