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Delusions of Adequacy

Cracked Single

Sick Fixation Single


V07I18 - 05/09/2004

Meow Meow, "Snow Gas Bones"
Devil in the Woods

The time for the great summer records has arrived, and Meow Meow have crafted one hell of a good time in their debut, though it may not seem like it at first. One glance at the album artwork with exploding flower head, or at the tracklisting with titles like "The Killing Kind" and "Sick Fixation," may not reveal this; but both belie the music found inside, even if they correctly reflect the lyrical content. Clearly this band loves melodies and musical trickery — with burbling and static sounds surrounding the opening song on the album — and there's a firm country influence that's even more evident when the pedal steel comes in. But all those pieces together do not ensure that the band knows how to wield them and shape them into their bidding. Time and time again on their debut, Meow Meow had me checking websites and discography sites asking "This is their debut?" Kirk Hellie and Christopher O'Brien are deft in their songwriting abilities, and their influences in '90s noise pop and '60s beach rock may be obvious but they still manage to make some toes tap and some smiles pour in with an originality all their own. These songs are infused with sunshine and upbeat rhythms but still have some dark imagery poured all over them. There's laments about fucking it all up to open the record on "Cracked," then talk of killing off the cool kid, then talk of leaving people for dead, and on and on about depressing and deplorable subjects, while still maintaining enough of a party rock sound to forget about it all while listening. The noise continues throughout the record, with distorted guitar, static, and fuzz effects dominating the mix on most every song. This is the most infectious music I've heard this year, though, and despite the lyrics venturing far into the morbid and disturbing, I was in a good mood from beginning to end. - Rob Devlin