The first time I wrote about The End Men – a little over a year ago – I said something like, The End Men demand our full attention. And what was true then, is even more true now as they prepare to release their brand new album Play With Your Toys on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The album was recorded over the last year in a Brooklyn flat.
This Brooklyn duo: Kansas born Matthew Hendershot and Italian born Livia Ranalli make some of the most unique and interesting music you’ve ever heard. Their EP Build it Up is an exercise in Blues-based Indie Rock done about as well as it can be done, and I’ll be honest, if this album was just more of the same, I would be satisfied, but… well, you shall see… you shall see…
So, yes, The End Men demand our full attention and to that end, I have decided to devote a few days to this incredible new album. Shall we begin – after the JUMP?
Track 1: Cleaning Your Mind serves as an introduction to the album. It is an invitation, it is an instruction, it is a summons. The chant – cleaning your mind, and the carny barker spoken word foreshadow and let you know that you need to leave your expectations at the door. “It is important that you know, what you are about to see is only a show.” This introduction promises adventure. And, echoing Hendershot’s word, this is something you do not want to miss. So clean your mind, open your mind and let’s get this adventure started.
Track 2: Run Away kicks things off with Livia’s amazing drumming (she is known for using anything and everything to make amazing and glorious noises). Hendershot’s guitar playing is extraordinary and the song is propulsive rock. His vocals are often compared favorable to Tom Waits – they are like an impossible blend of sandpaper and silk. This song rocks hard and seems to tear the listener away from their world into this new alien landscape.
Track 3: Long Way To The Ground returns to a more familiar blues-rock paradigm while the lyrics are elevated to new heights (appropriately enough). “You have to hit rock bottom before you can build yourself up.” is straight up the harsh truth of life. Musically, the blues riffs are augmented… as I’ve said before, I’m not a musician so I won’t even pretend to know exactly what they are doing here – just that it works amazingly well…
When we come back, prepare for a descent Into the Mines. The adventure is just getting started, you don’t want to be left behind.
If you are intrigued, you can download the first taste – a song called Wrong Way Street using the widget below:
Play With Your Toys drops in two days (2/14/2013). Bookmark their Bandcamp site: HERE. In fact go ahead and go there and pick up Build It Up now.
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