Song of the Day: The Men – Half Angel Half Light

photo by Jim Bennett

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Half Angel Half Light” by The Men from the 2013 album New Moon on Sacred Bones.

The Men – Half Angel Half Light (MP3)

Brooklyn band The Men’s punk rock restlessness has led them to become one of the most versatile and exciting groups of the last few years. Formed by vocalist/guitarists Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi and bassist/vocalist Chris Hansell in 2008, the band’s garage and noise-influenced take on punk rock initially turned heads with their sophomore album, 2011’s Leave Home. The next year’s Open Your Heart further expanded the band’s stylistic palette and fanbase, but as the tour for Open Your Heart began, audiences found a band that had already moved on to new ground, road testing out new tunes only a month after the album’s release. The band began to incorporate more classic rock and country influences during the recording sessions that produced their fourth album, New Moon (as well as another album that has yet to be released), and on “Half Angel Half Light”, it’s easy to hear the influence of Johnny Thunders and Tom Petty all over the rough three-minute burner. A rough, country-damaged garage rocker, “Half Angel Half Light” is one of the most accessible and direct songs the band has written to date, but they certainly haven’t gone soft. With its ragged Neil Young-style guitar flood and heartfelt vocal performance, “Half Angel Half Light” is proof that even though the band has been listening to Harvest more than Ragged Glory, they have just as much conviction as ever.

The Men are bringing New Moon to Seattle with an all-ages show at the Vera Project on Saturday, April 20th. Get tickets and more info about that show here, and keep up with the band on their blog. Watch the band play the New Moon track “I Saw Her Face” at KEXP’s SXSW 2012 broadcast below.

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