Chaos in Tejas Live Shots

Chaos in Tejas Live Shots
Photo by John Anderson

The Men

Red 7, May 31

The Men aren't a novelty. The Brooklyn quintet remains loud, fast, aggressive, and unpretentious, with a new LP every year since 2010. If there's anyone still fetishizing their good ol' days, better jump aboard the New Moon. The band's appeal notwithstanding, Red 7 felt empty on the second night of Chaos in Tejas. Maybe the chortling noise and sticky fog of the preceding Destruction Unit scared off a bunch of the lifers, or maybe the Men remain underrated. Nevertheless, their songs bounced off more wood than warm bodies. A small crowd in a sweaty bar at a festival several states southwest of home has spawned some profoundly indifferent sets from many other bands. Friday, the Men stood in a phalanx of six-strings, reared back, and dished the torrential, thickly-strummed acoustic guitarsenal of New Moon alongside apocalyptic favorites from last year's Open Your Heart. It's a cliche to say a lack of pageantry makes music feel truer, but it's hard to remain unaffected by how purely the Men embrace rock & roll's aesthetics. With songs built from asphalt and broken glass, and a constant stream of Valhalla hooks, the Men haven't had to hide a single thing throughout their burgeoning career.

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