Gone is the raw, snarling anger that drew in so many aurally-damaged fans: this is The Men indulging their inner college rock.
influences are worn on sleeves here, most notably for me Sonic Youth & Spiritualized, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that its a very enjoyable, and enjoyably loud, record.
I want to clear up: this is a really punchy enjoyable record and I will listen to it a lot this year. But I can't really justify giving it higher than a 7 (tbh this is why I hate having to give numerical scores) because it doesn't really do anything new nor does it really give you that rush of 'damn, what was that I just heard'. I guess part of me thinks that in a few years no-one's going to look back on this record and think, wow, what a classic. Leave Home maybe. But Open Up Your Heart feels like a record to enjoy here and now...
Whilst I agree with much of what is said in this review, I think it's worth an 8 at least. I don't think it's so far removed from Leave Home as you suggest; yes it's more melodic as a whole, but Animal and Cube rock as hard as anything from that record, whilst the last two songs show the band's love for Spacemen 3 remains undiminished. Just like Leave Home, I think it crosses different strands of punk and indie rock quite expertly.
i like this band a lot