Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm

The M’s, Real Close Ones (Polyvinyl Records, 2008)

Listen: “Bros In Arms”

The M’s try and getcha from the get. Opening track “Big Sound” rages out of the speakers, oozing sex and glitter. It’s like an illicit glam party thrown by Mott the Hoople and Slade, where the punch is spiked with PCP and appetizers are meant for the nose, not the belly. Piano’s clonk, horns skronk, and the band does an amazing job of making us want to wear leather pants and a feather boa. It’s also an oddball move for this Chicago band, because compared to “Big Sound”‘s let-loose ambition, navigating through the rest of Real Close Ones can be quite the challenge for those who lack patience, or a decent record collection. But if you like your rock dressed up in vintage tans and browns, then Real Close Ones is a treat. As the record moves forward, the glam influence drifts away, replaced by tracks like “Impossible View” and “Bros in Arms” that dig on White Album-era Beatles and Canned Heat. Elsewhere, there’s “Naked,” a song that deliberately approximates Harry Nilsson’s “All My Life” in all its goofy, bouncy glory. We can hear more than a bit of Dylan in “Tryin’ To Keep,” and album closers “How Could You” and “Days in the Sun” come off like some long lost collabo between Sir Paul and the Kinks’ Ray Davies. But it’s not all vinyl vomit here. Like Philly’s Dr. Dog and the Teeth, the M’s are a part of a new crop of bands reminding us that music ain’t just about viral videos and exclusive downloads from RCRD LBL. It’s about a body of work; as long as you can make it past the first song. — Ryan Allen

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