Artist / Band / Musician
Rock / Experimental
photo : jeff forney

LA ALTERNATIVESide StageSpotlighting the best of local music: The Meek by Max ReadWhatever else you can say about the late-80s shoegaze contingent, they made good music to take drugs to. Bands like Jesus and Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 drowned their listeners in feedback with songs built of giant, unredeemable, slow-moving noise; washes of barely inflected sound with subdued drums and hollow voices. In the process, the shoegazers, like almost no one else before them, were able to marry the unadulterated blare of White Light/White Heat with the simple pop melodies of Brian Wilson and Phil Spector, navigating the space between the shyness of their manner and the clamor of their music.Its therefore good news for those of us who like music to accompany our drug usage that the Meek have taken up the shoegaze torch. Fronted by Jeff Lee and Amy Lee, the Meek build swirling towers of distortion and feedback atop sturdy, well-worn drumbeats. Their noise-drubbed songs would come off as derivative if not for the consummate skill with which theyre written. The songs themselves are ominous and dark, captivatingly primitive in their minor-key melodies and steady drone; harking back to an older kind of rock and roll built on simple chord progressions and at the same time moving shudderingly into the future of pure, angry, mechanical sound. Wisely, the Meek never let the layers of fuzz entirely obscure the vocals; bathed in reverb, they drift from clarity to incomprehensibility as the song ebbs and flows.In fact, the constant drone of the Meeks songs demands your attention at all times. Each song is so arrestingly composed and phrased that it can be difficult not to get lost amidst its tunnels of fuzz and feedback-not that you dont want to. Just keep your dealers number on hand.
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