Friday, December 2, 2022

Meat Wave - Malign Hex LP


Swami (2022)

Well, it's happened again and I'm scrambling to write about several records from this year that I haven't gotten to yet.  I like to try to get just about everything covered before I do my end of the year list, but it seems like I'm always struggling through December with too much to do and not enough time to do it.  Enter Meat Wave.

I saw Meat Wave open up for Plosivs in Philadelphia earlier this year.  Plosivs were other-worldly, just so damn great.  Meat Wave didn't really stand out to me at the show.  They were fine, even enjoyable at times, but nothing about them really clicked on a high level with me for whatever reason.  Though part of that might have been the fact that it was my first show since the pandemic had started and I'm not sure I was really in the game yet.

When the record was released via the Swami webstore (which is where the more limited black vinyl version is from, though I assume Meat Wave has or had the black version at shows as well) I picked up a copy.  Mostly because that's just what I do.  I support and buy everything that Swami puts out.  I haven't loved everything, but I've certainly discovered some incredible bands as well.  But I can't say I had super high expectations going into my first listen.

I probably set the bar too low, because this is a pretty great record.  I can't say I love the first song, "Disney."  It's kind of slow and feels like an odd album opener to me, but once we get to the second song, "Honest Living," the record takes off and soars for the entire time.  There's definitely something of a Hot Snakes vibe to some songs, particularly in the way the guitar riffs flow, so Swami fans should appreciate the album.  

For me, I think the Meat Wave has the most in common with the band Survival Knife (and by proxy to Unwound.). On a songs like "Complaint" and "Waveless" the searing guitar work overtop a positively rumbling rhythm section has such energy and potency.  Justin Trosper would be very proud of these guys.

Again, I wasn't expecting to like this album as much as do.  I was anticipating a solid record, but what I got was gut punch and a kick in the face on the way down.  Great stuff.

Meat Wave - Malign Hex:

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