Meat Thump Under the Bridge cassette

Supremely shambolic live-in-2011 tape from these Brisbane jangle punks. With the gross band name and Mike Diana-style cover art, I was bracing myself for something disgusting, but was pleasantly surprised to hear music closer to SWELL MAPS or maybe the VASELINES. With out-of-tune clean guitars, laconic, slurred vocals, and a performance that could politely be called messy, MEAT THUMP has a charm that comes from the joy of creating music for themselves. The lyrics are barely decipherable and sound like streams of consciousness, but they work and frequently match the vibe so well that the drunken-Lou Reed ramblings sound meaningful and tug at your heartstrings (especially “Box of Wine” and “Wish”). Does the band begin and end each song at the same time? Nope. Does this tape occasionally sound like complete shit? Yep. Do they incorporate a verse of EAZY-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” in a really unfortunate way? Yeah, they do. Would I recommend this to anyone looking for earnest punk-inspired DIY creation? Absolutely. Postscript: As I was finishing up this review, I read that singer/guitarist Brendon Annesley passed away in 2012. That discovery had a sobering effect on what was a relatively light listen. Hug your friends and do stuff now instead of waiting for the future.