By the second track of Open Your Heart, there seems to be an exciting path this album is going to follow. Lead Nick Chiericozzi, is gruffing his way through lyrics like “Wrap your hands around my throat / Run your nails through my mind / I wanna feel you,” as a few female backups counteract his ferocity with a dreamy delivery of the line “Ohhh, he’s an animal.” All this is happening while the Stooges’ Raw Power comes blaring through several layered riffs. It’s reminiscent of F*cked Up’s recent duets on their damn-near perfect David Comes to Life – it is obviously nowhere close to being a bad thing that the comparison’s drawn.
However, where it’s easy to draw their sources of inspiration and brethren, The Men’s genre spanning release is a beast all in its own. Sprawling interludes such as “Country Song” or the ever-building crescendo that is “Oscillation,” this album packs so many layers and emotions into ten tracks that few artists can do it over two CDs. On “Please Don’t Go Away,” we’re given a potent wall of sound that gets swept away with “ooohs” from supporting members. Transitioning from this we get warped into Buzzcocks mode for the title track; I’m even going far enough to call it a spiritual coupling to “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” because that wouldn’t be to far off.
Open Your Heart has all the growth a listener can ask for from a band they’re invested in. It’s not a departure, it’s not a repeat – it’s progression that draws in all the good and expands. You’ll find the bitterness of 2011’s Leave Home as often as witnessing a new set of ideals and interactions. Remnants aren’t detrimental for The Men and after this album, there’ll be nothing left of your brain but pieces.