If you haven’t picked up a MEOW MEOWS record yet….what on earth are you waiting for?? This English band has been a touring monster, their high energy 2-TONE ska brings to mind the DANCE HALL CRASHERS and THE SPECIALS!! Comparisons to THE SKINTS and HOLLIE COOK also are immediate – guess it’s that British accented sultry female wordplay? We fell in love with their first album “SOMEHOW WE MET” – of course immediately putting it to wax! A year or so later we released the limited “Friends on Benefits” 7″ EP …but we are so proud to say that thie brilliant new album is HERE on vinyl! We found this amazing write up from Brightonpost.com – we couldn’t descrive the album any better – so here it is!!
Brighton’s ska’n’soul champs the MEOW MEOWS third album Go Boom! is finally here! The songs are great and immaculately produced, with everything sitting in the right place and in the right frequency, whilst simultaneously preserving the energy they are famous for as a live band. The album kicks off with the strong horn hooks of ‘Kayley May’ – it’s upbeat and storms along despite the darkness of the lyrics. Kayley May, we assume (as it’s not spelled out), is a disabled person whose ability to integrate into society is challenged as the support she has previously received from the state, through social workers and therapists, is no longer paid for. It’s quite a bleak and depressing potential outcome from the cutbacks imposed by recent times of austerity, but, much like The Specials in their day, this doesn’t stop the band from partying and throwing out hooks left, right and centre. The dual lead voices of Danny Noble and Hanna Mawby are one of the unique aspects of the Meow’s sound that set them apart. ‘Pretty If You Smile’ opens with a bit of a 70s garage rock riff, before those dense horns come in again, a signature of the band’s sound. It’s another upbeat number and this time there’s an aggression driving it, annoyance at sexist men who heckle women in the street. “Get Off My Bench’ is more guitar-driven, with bouncy keyboards playing the off-beats, providing tension. Lyrically it’s a little more poetic, a little harder to interpret, but there’s a sadness to the song which suggests it may be about a lost loved one. ‘Young Blood’ has been released ahead of the album with an animated music video as an early single and again takes aim at austerity Britain, “Cut, cut, cut when their ain’t much left/Blame it on the peasants by convincing them it’s theft”. This one has a mid-tempo stomp to it, it’s almost a marching number, aimed at convincing the younger generation to keep focus on what’s happening politically and resist. ‘Off Again’ has more of a Motown feel to it, with some lovely fluttery horn lines. ‘IOU’ continues with the upbeat soul feel, with driving bass and drums and some great soft organs in the backdrop of the verses. ‘Put You Down’ steps things up a gear, with a more obvious ska groove and insistent horn line, there’s that lovely sense of mystery to the verses but then a real sing-a-long chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place on a big Britpop number. ‘Swipe Right’ tells a great contemporary love story, about people who’ve met on a modern dating app like Tinder, opening with a suitably boozy-sounding horn line. This time we get a bit of a happy ending, as the swiper moves from simply using someone for their body, to actually falling for them. Driven by a tension-filled bouncy organ it’s a great track. ‘Walk Me Home’ has a bit of The Specials ‘Ghost Town’ about it, slower and more dub-oriented, it has great dynamics and spooky, delay-soaked trumpet lines. There’s a bit of a rap in this one too, although it’s uncredited so I wouldn’t want to guess who is behind it. ‘We Fade Away’ rolls nicely out of ‘Walk Me Home’, with a super mellow instrumental passage for the trumpet and piano that makes it sound like it’s going to be an end-of-the record lull, before the full band kicks in with another infectious horn line. The lyrics are chock-full of David Bowie references, so this is clearly a tribute and homage. However, it’s the bitter-sweet kind that simultaneously celebrates the gifts the great man bestowed upon us, whilst also being seeped in the nostalgia and loss many of us experienced when a star who had soundtracked so much of our lives left us. As the band were recording in March and April this year this one must have been written very close to the sessions, but it’s easily one of the strongest numbers on the album. The album continues with the instrumental ‘Jack Monroe’, which is another flawlessly arranged and performed slice of easy-going ska, before closing with ‘Friends On Benefits’, a single released last year and produced by Prince Fatty. There are clear, if somewhat subtle, differences between Prince Fatty and King Glover’s production – the horns, for example, seem a little more reverberated and in the distance on Fatty’s track.
- MEOW MEOWS
- Go Boom!
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