If you’re feeling like it’s only Tuesday and you’re already deep in the morass between ennui brought on by over-stimulation and aimless angst brought on by an increasingly uncertain future then Brooklyn’s Meek Is Murder are your soothing balm. Was, the trio’s third album, is twelve tracks in not many more minutes of Kurt Ballou-helmed mercurial and angular, head-sploding catharsis. Seeing as how you can’t scream at the top of your lungs–at least not again, lest your supervisor has to have another talk with you–you better let Was do it for you.
Built on “retrospection and memory,” Was is an appropriate title for an album that hearkens back to a time when extreme tunes were messier, more concerned with expression than aesthetic, and overall less restricted by rigid genre expectations. Although Meek Is Murder aren’t some genre-blending variety show. Whatever influences get thrown into their grinder come out resembling nothing except their own laconic gestalt. While opener “Black Lung” is intermittently thrashy, mathy, and grindy, such tangents are divided by blunt force chugs to the cerebral cortex. Back-to-back emotional stompers like “Save Your Voice” and “Full Hearts, Empty Rooms,” bring to mind, in their unabashed sincerity, monumental records like Jane Doe and Background Music; but then the band throw themselves volubly, but no-less-disconcertingly into a spell like the sludged-out finale of “Victims and Builders.” “whatevercore,” indeed.
To elucidate the album’s ambiguous title, Meek Is Murder’s guitarist/vocalist, Mike Keller says:
Drummer Frank Godla adds: