It can be a gamble when a band tweaks their sound, especially when everything they’ve done beforehand is simply brilliant. Enter Boston’s Mean Creek, starting out with multidimensional bluesy Bruce Springsteen meets The Replacements alternative rock and progressing into an angsty, emphatic punk monster. Mean Creek keeps it highly amplified from the first track to the last on Local Losers, their brand new album that has proved to be one of the best to come out so far in 2014. Needless to say, this album is astounding and I guarantee it’ll have you hooked right when you press play.
An abundance of noise and heartfelt grit spreads all over Local Losers like butter on a toasted bagel; if you are looking for your next rock & roll fix then look no further than Mean Creek. Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chris Keene’s enigmatic soul flows through his voice like a man in need of someone to hold, followed up with a cold beer and a lit cigarette. It echoes the likes of The Boss in such a spot-on way that it makes you think if Springsteen grew up listening to The Stooges instead of Roy Orbison, he would have done a similar album. Mikey Holland’s drumming is incredibly fast, serving as the engine to an album that purrs like a ’68 Corvette. Add Aurore Ounjian’s ingeniously simple solos on lead guitar and Kevin McDonald’s steady bass lines and you get a masterpiece that can’t be overlooked. The great combo of punk aggression and earnest lyrics really makes Mean Creek’s new album something else.
So it’s been a while since I’ve written this review; did you miss it? Who knows and maybe I shouldn’t care, but to use the title of a song written by Mean Creek in the past, “It’s Good To Be Back Again.” If this is new to you or it’s back like a nightmare that you never wanted to experience again, then enjoy my top tracks off of my Album Of The Week. It’ll put your mind at ease and you’ll know what’s good. And what’s better than that? Anyways, here goes something:One of the singles off of Local Losers in “My Madeline” is an anthem for the strained long distance relationship. The chorus makes me wonder how Keene hasn’t blown out a vocal chord yet, or maybe he has and he doesn’t want to tell anyone. The fury in “Anxiety Girl” is all about trying to satisfy the impossible, a crazy girl who is more complicated than a calculus exam. That opening guitar riff makes my head bang every time; turn this one up and go crazy. To get the full frontal experience of how rhythmic Holland’s drumming is, give “Cool Town” a listen. Those drums kicking off the song make me want to get a stopwatch and time it to see how long it takes to hit that many beats so quickly. Yea I named a few, so what? Don’t be a sheep and take my word as gospel, check out Mean Creek’s Local Losers for yourself.
This Friday on April 25th, Mean Creek will be celebrating the release of Local Losers at The Middle East Downstairs right outside of Boston in Cambridge, MA. Pile, Ovlov, Heliotropes and The Young Leaves will be opening things up, so I highly suggest you show up early and experience a night chock full of amazing bands. Until Mean Creek rips it up at your friendly neighborhood music venue, get your hands on Local Losers. It’s an absolute winner in my book; give it a listen and find out why.