Punk, post-punk, post-hardcore, noise, scuzz, fuzz, pigfuck, Leave Home by The Men is an album that could wear any number of labels. The guitars are loud, way loud, to the point of blistering distortion. The vocals are bloodied, throaty and rough. The attitude is confrontational from side one, track one on through to the end. And, there are times when all of this becomes unpleasant for the listener. It’s unpleasant in a good way, but unpleasant, nonetheless.
Yet, those adjectives and those labels barely begin to describe the sounds gathered, here, on the Brooklyn band’s Sacred Bones LP. Furthermore, to take an academic approach, and attempt to quantify what it is that makes Leave Home a great rock record, is to totally miss the fucking point. A great rock record does not need justification in that way. Its greatness is felt, not analyzed. And, boy oh boy, does this record have feeling. Whether we’re talking about The Men’s deranged take on British post-punk (“If You Leave…”), caterwauling, doom metal (“L.A.D.O.C.H.), ravaging, post-hardcore (“Bataille”), or a surf rock track that’s just as much Jesus Lizard as it is Jesus and Mary Chain (“Shittin’ With the Shah”), the end result is the same — Rock ‘N’ Roll music going straight to the nerves in its purest, loudest, most exciting form, like a vice clamp tightening down on your brain and a steel-fisted punch to the gut, but in a good way, of course. 10 out of 10 on The Rockometer.