These guys are the real deal. This Chicago-based trio are bringing punk back to its wonderfully grimy roots. And that shouldn’t shock you: they’re called Meat Wave, after all.
Just a few days ago, the band released their sophomore effort, titled Brother, and the album is about as perfect as a modern punk record can get. The album features a collection of unreleased demos, new songs, re-released tracks from their 2012 self-titled record, and a Wipers’ cover, and is far move focused than their previous efforts.
At its base, Brother is a punk album, though Meat Wave aren’t afraid to slip in new-ish genres where ever they see fit. Take ‘Sham King’, one of the two new songs, which marries lo-fi guitars with vocals that are determined and perfectly punk, varying between disappointed and downright angry. The track holds a head-bobbing melody and ends with an amazingly exciting instrumental.
A steadily repeating guitar riff introduces you to ‘Sunlight’, the other brand new song, while marching drums carry you to sure – and somehow calm – vocals. The first half of the song teeters you on the edge of excitement, waiting for the track to rip open. But instead of giving it to you all at once, Meat Wave opts to slowly peel back its layers, moving up and down the scale of hyperactivity to create an oddly satisfying diamond in the rough.
That alone should prove the band’s perfect ability to keep their sound exciting, but then there’s songs like the previously unreleased ‘I’ve Got Ants’ demo, which offers listeners a catchy melody, a heavy bass line and lo-fi-ish vocals that part to expose the singer’s amazingly raw holler as he screams: “I’ve… got… ants” – before twee guitar details round off the song.
The title track, ‘Brother’, which was originally released on their 2012 record, opens with a few soft strums of the guitar before diving into the fast-paced deep end, but don’t worry, it gives few a second-long reprieves to catch your breath before you continue on your merry moshing way (do the kids still do that?).
But the beauty of this band is that they’re not just loud and fast, and nothing proves that more than ‘It’s Not Alright’. The instrumentals are well thought out. They’re calculated and effortless. The drums and guitars work well to psych you up, while the bass firmly roots that tension in your chest. It’s chaotic, in all its beauty.
For more on Meat Wave, visit their Facebook page.