Okay - regular readers... we are back again after another unintentional extended break. Soon, soon, soon, I hope to have #E2TG back on it's usual schedule and better than ever. I'm certainly keeping my ears to the ground and "discovering" some awesome music to bring your way. Luring me back this time, is the impending release of Odds and Ends the new collection from Brooklyn-based The End Men*. As the album title implies, this is not a cohesive album like 2013's Play With Your Toys. This collection shows off the depth and diversity of the band's signature style, and as such serves as both a great access point for the uninitiated and a delightful sonic treat for the long time fan. To me, it also shows a band reaching for the potential of what their name implies and a tantalizing glimpse into what we can expect down the line.
The album opens with three familiar tracks reworked for this collection: "Wolves" is one of my favorite songs - a snarling aggressive rocker that was first introduced via their entry in this year's Couch by Couchwest festival, "Work" was their Fall 2013 single with accompanying video which casts Drummer Livia Ranalli and Guitarist/Vocalist Matthew Hendershot as mean and nasty 1%ers, and "A Storm is Coming" is an awesome bluesy rocker written as Hurricane Irene bore down on NYC amid dire, alarmist warnings of impending doom. Then things start to get really interesting. The fourth track, "Salute", begins with a sultry piano and violin intro which is then joined by the rich vocals of Andrea Parodi which creates an atmospheric gypsy carnival type sound, and just when I was about to check my device to make sure of what I hearing, Matthew Hendershot's familiar Waits gargles sandpaper made of silk vocals join the mix, and yes this is The End Men after all, and they've just exploded all expectations while expanding my mind to what they are all about.
The surprises don't stop there. The next track "War" features an appropriately martial-esque sound and the brilliant spoken/sung voice of London-based Dion Freewheelin Troubadour Power. "Whiskey Rain" is a gloriously expansive and rocking collaboration with Singer/Songwriter Ben Arthur. The End Men then take us full circle to what I believe to be one of the oldest songs on the collection and which features the pre-2012 The End Men line-up when they were a three-piece.
What you need to do:
If you in or near New York City at the end of this month (April 30 specifically), you need to get yourself down to the Mercury Lounge for an album release, tour kick off celebration. Details to be found HERE and HERE. Matthew and Livia will be pulling double duty as The End Men and also part of Matt King's backing band Killing Streets.
If you are going to the Europe between May 10 and May 31, keep and eye and an ear out for The End Men who will be embarking on a European Tour.
Also, they are playing Some Kind of Jam 9 in Pennsylvania Friday. So get your camping gear packed if you are nearby.
Follow them on Facebook or bookmark their website and when it's out - make a quick purchase of Odds and Ends.
Listen, you've put it off far too long... come join me on The End Men express train... it's guaranteed to be a wild ride, but you are also guaranteed to have a blast and meet a lot of cool people along the way.
*2013 E2TG Band of the Year.