We’ve had this playing for several weeks, but each week have been unable to say much about it. We started dropping classical CDs in the Review Corner for the challenge of listening to music we knew nothing about, but if all albums were like this we’d be doing nothing but punk.
If there was entry for “most plays without forming any opinion whatsoever”, in Mr Guinness’s book of increasingly ridiculous world records, this would win.
Maybe that’s a review in itself.
We’ll start with the facts. Meat Wave play punk. It’s relentlessly hard. At the same time it’s quite melodic. The lyrics sound intelligent. They might be being satirical (the cover is a slightly surreal take on Dark Side of the Moon).
Imagine all the bits you like about angry punk and garage fused together into something that leaves you unable to form an opinion. It’s not NOFX, but neither is it Green Day. It’s not Black Flag but it’s not The Offspring, either, though the latter are a band that also leaves us unmoved.
Meat Wave are on SideOneDummy, a label thus far familiar to us with bands who sound like Gaslight Anthem, peddling American blue collar rock anthems. Meat Wave are punkier and combine blue collar rock with a musically harder edge but lyrics that sound less about life on the factory floor and drinking in the sports bar than expected.
The opener is Delusion Moon, the opening words delivered in a Simon Le Bonny sneering kind of way. It’s a constant crescendo with four snare hits to the bar, and unrelenting. Track two Network opens with bass guitar and tom tom, very confrontational and in your face. Respite of a fashion comes with Cosmic Zoo, one of the early standouts as it offers a hook to hang onto. Then it’s back to relentless.