01. Big Sound 4:24
02. Breakfast Score 2:25
03. Pigs Fly 3:08
04. Don\'t Be Late 2:13
05. Papers 3:59
06. Get Your Shit Together 3:27
07. Ultraviolent Men 3:38
08. Naked 2:55
09. Impossible View 5:24
10. Bros In Arms 3:16
11. Tryin To Keep 2:53
12. Days In The Sun 2:53
13. How Could You 3:56
[ RELEASE NOTES ]
There are very few, if any, bands currently playing music that can meld \'60s
britpop with Flaming Lips psychedelia and have it sound effective, warm, and
engaging. That was, of course, until Chicago’s The M’s burst onto the music
scene in 2002. Starting out on the Chicago label Brilliante Records, the band
released a series of EP’s and then their debut self-titled full length.
Shortly thereafter, they secured a spot opening up for Wilco, and then things
took off. They were signed to Polyvinyl and released Future Women, and soon
the press started buzzing.
After taking some time off, they’re at it again with Real Close Ones, a
brilliant slice of McCartney-esque harmonies and Kinks-inspired riffs. Call
it fuzzy, scruffy, scrappy, gritty, garagey, bluesy, or what have you; the
point is, The M’s continue to step it up with each release and consistently
prove that there are few bands in America better at what they do than them.
There’s equal parts R&B, funk, garage-rock, and Phil Spector-inspired pop on
this album. Its variety and its depth are what makes it so astounding.
From the horn-fueled, dance-heavy groove of opening track “Big Sound,” to the
contemplative “Papers,” to the spacey “Pigs Fly,” The M’s put together 13
nuggets of ear candy. The album has very few, if any, missteps. Even on songs
like the quirky “Ultraviolet Man” and the bizarre “Naked,” there are sonic
treats like strings and chimes that color the sonic palette exquisitely. And
for every subtle misstep there is a home run waiting in the wings, like the
ever-infectious “Get Your Shit Together” or the vibrant romp, “Breakfast
Score.” After tackling six-minute jams on their earlier releases, Real Close
Ones is a departure in that it’s laden with brevity. Few songs are more than
three-and-a-half minutes and quite a few fade away before the songs even take
off. For most artists this would be a negative, but for The M’s, it’s nothing
short of spectacular.
The band’s best asset is their humility; lead singer Josh Chicoine credits
drummer Steve Ludwig’s drum kit for their effortless retro-sound and
maintains that, at their core, the band is just four drinking buddies that
got together in a basement and try not to take themselves too seriously. Hard
to dislike a band that thinks like that. While Real Close Ones is not quite
as strong as Future Women, its definitely another step in the right direction
and another head-turning release.