Campfire Songs may be the The Men’s most spontaneous release yet. While jamming around a campfire (surprising that, eh?) outside a house in uptown New York where the band recorded their latest full length release New Moon, the boys wrote and recorded an additional five acoustic songs to create their 12 inch EP.
Available to fans from 14 October through their label Sacred Bones, Campfire Songs hails a different sound from the blatant punk rock riffs usually produced by The Men. Although previously criticised by music moguls for fraternising with the mainstream, the new EP avoids such genre confusion. Containing three existing tracks I Saw Her Face, The Seeds and Water Babies plus two original songs Turn Your Colour and Patience, fans will hear a softer and more romantic sound from the band. Nonetheless, rather than reduce The Men’s music to the realms of mass produced pop, the acoustic remakes transcend genre and instead are a piece of musical genius in their own right. In particular, the songs showcase lead singer Mark Perro’s gravelly tone, the perfect balance of grit and gentility which captivates listeners from around the globe.
The perfect example of The Men’s new found commanding gentility is the revamped, The Seeds. A compelling reconstruction stripped back and remoulded into an innately chilled track that will have you jigging along in a decidedly hill-billy manner. But before you sigh into your speakers and delve a little deeper into your punk rock collection, consider The Men’s versatility to be a testament of their musical prowess. For these men do not need to be manhandled into the confined space of category, their music is nothing but their own. Their spontaneity in creating different sounds from a variety of inspirations is the mark of truly talented musicians. And as Mark Perro once said himself: “In a world where so much has come before you, you can’t deny that it’s going to have some impact on you”. Their mature acceptance of the dilemmas of being a true individual leads the way for bands both old and new and is what makes them almost prodigal in status. Or perhaps more potently it’s what makes these boys from Brooklyn, The Men.
By Nicole Pilcher