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FMs Review: “Change Your Men Up” by Edmund Barker

The goth-industrial revival band The FMs are having a busy moment, as their featured spot in last year’s Showtime movie Fluidity demonstrates. The film, which features the glam-rock group performing their single “Change Your Men Up,” is a drama about ten millennials living in New York City who navigate the uncertainties of sex, love, identity, and social media—some of the very themes The FMs deal the most in. “Change Your Men Up” is actually the opening track from their 2017 album Machinacene Epoch, a weird and wonderful mix of prog rock sci-fi storytelling and industrial bops. For its appearance in Fluidity, the song got a remix by none other than Patrick Seymour of Eurythmics fame, taking it from guitar-heavy goth rock to a blissed-out club jam.

But “blissed-out” is perhaps not the most appropriate term to describe the lyrics, as “Change Your Men Up” is a protest song through and through. With the opening lyrics of “fighting with your hairy hands, brutish tyrants ripping at the seams,” the song paints a picture of destructive greed and selfish hedonism not unlike the early Depeche Mode classic “Everything Counts.” While that song honed in on corporate ill deeds, “Change Your Men Up” is more about sexual politics in the 2010s and feels indelibly tied to the #MeToo movement. With lyrics that go on to criticize harassment and catcalling, the song segues into a chorus that cries out for the sleazy and manipulative men of the world to change their ways. It’s not always the case that a song can balance being a bop and having heavy themes, but in both the original and remix, “Change Your Men Up” does just that.

4/5 Stars

The Official website for The FMs may be found at https://www.thefmsmusic.com

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