Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review of The Medicated Meatballs New Album

I have seldom enjoyed reading reviews of albums. They make little sense to me. I believe that all the authors do is find a book with a boat-load of adverbs, pick a few objects in their office, try to tie together as many genre’s as possible, and then start to writing their review using as many weird and lengthy adjectives as they possibly can.

I though that it might be a little fun to write my own music review. If you can understand anything I have said kudos. The whole thing is mostly nonsense. And there is no band called The Medicated Meatballs—at least not yet, that I know of. Hopefully you will enjoy my made up song titles and find a bit of humor in this.

After you read this I have one question. Does this not sound like a typical hip music review?


The Medicated Meatballs enjoyed an epic run in the early 80’s (Button Hole, Cheetah Forceps, and Frankenstein’s Heartworm) that notoriously gave voice to the era’s disdain for the dance-under-the-moonlight funk charade. Their valiant yet humble renderings of the melancholy earth-sounds endeared an entire generation of adoring fans. But things changed for the Seattle-based quartet when rival grunge bands exploded onto the scene.

For over a decade The Medicated Meatballs struggled to sell out even the echo-laden halls of hotels in the slums. Throughout the 90’s the flailing quartet flirted with their sound; even diving into renegade techno lullabies with their early 90’s Pandas with Dysentery offering. With this project the groups pedantic meanderings all but ostracized their entire fan base. By the turn of the millennium the band--now only playing county fairs in rural Alaska—decided to take a break.

After taking almost a decade off from music a rejuvenated Meatballs launched a 48 city reunion tour which spawned their newest album: Gravy Boat Shoelace. Their present undertaking is a welcome return to the bands sublime approach. Early fans will be pleased with their homecoming to the eclectic sounds of gypsy-dance-skiffle.

With their more pop-oriented tracks (like Simon and Garfield) the band launches their plunge into the icy-cool waters of over-dramatized circus ballads. Their ear-melting mockery of all things Reagan in Iraq You Ran will likely endear them to the posh elite but will do nothing to gain them traction in the ever-increasingly-popular world of the moody folk brigade.

Their most adventurous track, Androgynous Mule-Shark, assumes a smooth yet rocky pose with brief reminiscence of the angrier tracks of Rage Against the Machine. Many will be confused by their foray into breezy metal, but rest assured none are more confused than their new lead guitarist Harvey—who every time he drives towards a steady beat meanders into a weird improvisation of a rickety chainsaw.

The Medicated Meatballs had hoped that this album would give a pulse to their fans of the 80’s and attract a new generation of Meatheads. There’s plenty to love on Gravy Boat Shoelace, but there is also plenty to make the casual listener’s stomach to churn. This is their best album since Frankenstein’s Heartworm but still not enough to take them out of dimly lit and poorly populated night clubs.

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