With Tomorrow’s Hits, The Men’s fourth album for the Sacred Bones label, the Brooklyn-based quintet has put together a fitting document of the fully realized, mature sound the band has built toward over the past five years. At times, the group, which originally grabbed attention for its noisy, forceful rock music, may have appeared unfocused as it alternately drifted toward classic rock and country-tinged hues. Tomorrow’s Hits dispels any concerns that The Men were meandering.
On this record, the band has fully embraced its influences and synthesized them into a sound that is unabashedly timeless. The album appropriately begins with “Dark Waltz.” In a sense, the song is a statement of purpose for a rock band at this late date, a kind of contemporary take on “Johnny B. Goode” performed through a Springsteen/Dylan prism with the electric rock riffing replaced with a post-millennial grizzled groove. Tomorrow’s Hits notably features more complex arrangements than the band has used in the past. Songs like “Another Night” might jar listeners familiar with the band with its piano tracks and horn sections, but rather than sound like forced overdubbing, this additional instrumentation adds depth to the brooding insistency of these tracks. Meanwhile, the rollicking roadhouse blues of “Pearly Gates” serves as a highlight, with the band loosely flying across the sonic terrain like a dust storm moving at breakneck pace. The Men have reached new heights with Tomorrow’s Hits, and it may be the band’s first great record.