Album: HiFi Classics
Label: Trashmouth Records
For fans of: Fat White Family, The Moonlandingz, Lou Reed
Standout tracks: Aurora, Madame HiFi, Nice Young Couple
When a MEATRAFFLE LP is adorned with a cultural and communist icon you get a sense of what the band are about to deliver. A dysfunctional sound designed only to placate the eternally moving minds of its creators? Easy.
But no, the best thing about MEATRAFFLE is that they’re always a little ahead of you when it comes expectations. Always willing and in fact needing to push the envelope a little further, a little harder and always a little sharper.
And they do it to fuck shit up. Pure and simple, they are here to make music, cause trouble and make your grandmother overfill her Tena Lady all over the dog. Their direct and confrontational attitude has not been seen since punk really grabbed England by the balls. But this isn’t a three-chord thrash of an album. No, it is layered and thick with ingenuity. It builds and troughs and creates meandering patterns that tar the sky with bleak imagery whilst back-dropped by the thudding rhythm of a marauding march.
However, to tag a genre on to MEATRAFFLE’s sound is probably a little superfluous, they mix and melt so many different genres together that in the end it sounds like a heapful of the human centipedes guts, dirty and disgusting but enriched with the blood of humanity and the cries of pain. Take a look at the description from the band.
“DEATH RAGGA – TRAPDOOR JAZZ – SPEED WALTZ –
ERRONEOUS FUNK – AVANT POP – BASTARD MUSIK –
PEDESTRIAN BIO MEKANICALRIK – GULAG BAROQUE”
Those descriptions seem about right to me. With all the tracks having a heavy touch of rhythm and bounce coupled with some dangerous horns and heavy electro. Permeating the usual fair is a balance of reckless abandon and musicianship which is always delicately poised. ‘Aurora’ and ‘Madame Hifi’ are particular masters of this balancing act and convey messages without seeming to preach a sermon.
The last song ‘Follow Dog’ hits the most usual “rock and roll” sounds, with a thudding drumbeat which builds to a the finale of these urban tribesmen, concentrated by only humanity, not money, not technology, not even the music they make. The band are for the people not for the masses.
Anyone expecting a Bill Bragg type protest album is going to be very disappointed. However, anyone looking for a piece of pure, putrid and at times puerile musical endeavour. A trip in to a warped mind of the artist – the scary thing is, it looks a lot like my town.