Monday, November 12, 2012

Meat Thump-Box of Wine/Feel Good 7" (2012)

It's hard to listen to this EP without taking it as an epitaph for Brendon Annesley, the much-missed dood behind Negative Guest List, and Meat Thump's guitarist and vocalist. If his name means nothing to you, then good: you can listen to this record on its own terms, instead of imposing mourning on it.

Granted, these two offerings of downed-out, fucked up sloprock are delivered from the far end of a seven-day bender. But, as with the best downer blues in the Peter Laughner tradition, there's a laugh drifting up from underneath the wine, lice, and decay: On "Box of Wine," Annesley drawls out a tale of booze-driven infidelity that is downright funny (My favorite lines are: "Gonna tell my woman/dontcha weep, no dontcha whine" and "Don't know why I'm oh so sorry/for my cheating ways/it was my double box and dick to blame"). Amdist the murky clatter and patter, there are stray guitar riffs of genius, and the tambourine even evinces signs of life.
"Feels Good" opens with a guitar riff that Meat Thump probably lifted wholesale from a Laughner or Rocket from the Tombs outtake. Over a band that had already perfected the art of sounding like it's falling apart while never missing a note, Annesley asks himself the question I contemplate every time the alarm clock goes off: "It doesn't feel good...why do I do it?" Annesley was a great writer, as anyone who's read the NGL 'zine knows; he also had a compelling singing voice.

I won't insult Annesley or any of the people associated with Meat Thump/NGL by saying I understand this record, but I will say that it's a great slab of rock 'n' roll, played just how it was meant to be played: drunk, clever, and with a heaping dose of humor. I only wish Annesley had stuck around long enough to build on its great promise.

Listen to Meat Thump, and buy the record, here. Hurry up, only 500 were pressed. It'll be on my Best of 2012 list, for sure.

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