Wrong Side of Yesterday - Meatbeaters (Pressed Ham)
It’s not just the ripper cover of “Bomber” that summons up a Motorhead comparison but more on that later. This is Album Number Four for Adelaide’s Meatbeaters and it’s their best to date.
Meatbeaters are in a cohort of Aussie bands that you can classify as Yob Rock. Cosmic Psychos, the VeeBees, The Onyas and Shrewms all play it fast and aggressively with no concession to multiple chords or lyrical niceties. They also share a gutter-level sense of humour.
(Before you say it, yob culture has long been celebrated in Australian rock and roll. Thorpie didn’t invent them - he just gave them permission to suck more piss. In gentler times, they used to be called larrikins.)
So what do Stan, Ock, Splodgie and Staf have that all those other bands don’t? An undeservedly lower profile than some of them, and bloodlines going back to the Iron Sheikhs. Adelaide might not be as isolated as Perth but it does have its geographic challenges when connecting to other music “scenes”, even in these times of cheap airfares and the Interwebs. Meatbeaters could do with a functioning Bandcamp.
But to “Wrong Side…” and it comes up on the right side if you’re a fan of relentless, surging guitars, a massive bottom end and guttural vocals. The energy levels haven’t been dulled by the studio and the production is emphatic and punchier than Jeff Horn.
Is it only me but does Slammin’ Stan’s gravelly, raspy voice sound uncannily like a cross between Lemmy and Cheetah Chrome more than ever? His guitar sparring with Kid Ock (who was once on four strings but now finds himself back playing six) would leave a Euroboy/Turbonegro follower baying for more (although they have less glam to their tone.) Ock also has cool taste in T-shirts (check the CD booklet for evidence.)
Newish bassist Staf and Splodge are the engine and are in lockstep without falling into the Oz Rock trap of 4/4 hell. In other words, there’s rock AND roll. This sort of music lives or dies by its momentum and these guys don’t let up.
Psychos fans will find a lot to like if they haven’t latched onto Meatbeaters already, and the band itself cites LA’s Lazy Cowgirls as an influence which is another fair call. If you like either band you won’t find fault with the songs.
“Cold Embrace”, “Pair of Those” and the very Motorhead-like “No Innocence” are representative samples of the 10 originals. The strutting “Purple Helmet” has more swagger than a rooster on Viagra. There are no ballads. “Devil’s Pride” shows a hint of pop so don’t think Meatbeaters are entirely devoid of melody. It’s just that Melody is a girl in a black band T-shirt who swears like a trooper and drinks West End.
It’s a fair bet the band doesn’t mind comparisons but I’m going to stick out my neck further than they might expect and say “Wrong Side of Yesterday” makes the last Psychos album pale in comparison.
Hassle them on Facebook if you want a copy.