The Tubs - Dead Meat Music Album Reviews

The Tubs - Dead Meat Music Album Reviews
Former Joanna Gruesome guitarist Owen “O” Williams’ new group taps into the chiming sound of ’80s college rock, channeling a wide range of jangly inspirations.

Joanna Gruesome’s breakup felt premature in 2017, but in hindsight it was more a beginning than an end. Since the Cardiff noise-pop ensemble disbanded, its members have spun off a constellation of new, interconnected bands, among them the jittery indie-pop quartet Ex-Vöid and the lacerating punk act Sniffany & the Nits, both of which released endearingly scrappy debut LPs last year. On their heels comes the debut from yet another group featuring former Gruesome guitarist Owen “O” Williams, this time cast into a lead singer-songwriter role: the Tubs’ Dead Meat, the crispest, jangliest record yet from this crowded Venn diagram of scrappy guitar bands.

Ex-Vöid and Joanna Gruesome weren’t shy about peppering their records with jangle either, but the Tubs commit to chiming ’80s underground rock as a driving inspiration, playing up every tuneful lick for maximum pretty persuasion. Dead Meat pulls from a vast spectrum of college rock, ranging from the melancholic, shimmering guitar pop of Felt to the nervier churn of Pylon and, on its most kicking tracks, the melodic rush of Bob Mould’s Sugar albums. It all works because the Tubs have a record collector’s love for this sound. They see jangle not as a narrow style but a vast and varied world of moods and muses.

Williams sings in a woeful quiver that’s just pronounced enough to stand out against all those pleasing, whirling guitars, although he occasionally channels the fiercer punk record this band just as easily could have made. His lyrics tend toward the dour. Cast against post-punk guitar slashes and bright guest vocals from fellow Gruesome vet Lan McArdle on “Sniveller,” he curls his voice into a contemptuous sneer as he derides himself as a “bootlicker,” an “arselicker,” and a “sniveling sycophant.” On the title track, he’s even more self-lacerating, admonishing his grimy flat and lax grooming habits. He’s got a bad rash on his groin and he can’t even be bothered to refill his steroid cream.

Though Williams doesn’t overplay the squalid details, he has described his blunter lyrics as a way of pushing back against the romanticization of mental illness, including recent books and empowerment memes that have celebrated it as “a superpower.” In these songs, mental illness is primarily a threat to happiness and personal relationships. On “Round the Bend,” Williams sings about “another manic episode” as if it’s a routine pain in the ass. It’s only on the stinger that he processes the broader implications: “Soon you’re going to be sick of me.”

In another setting, lyrics like that might cut, but ringing guitars have a way of disarming sobering sentiments. A great jangle-pop record’s primary objective is to go down easy, and Dead Meat always does. The album saves one of its niftiest nods to the genre’s heyday for last, nodding to The Queen Is Dead on “Wretched Lie,” right down to the frolicking Johnny Marr guitars and “Bigmouth Strikes Again” chipmunk vocal warps. It offers a bit of context for the 25 minutes of music that preceded it, a reminder that this niche style was once one of the dominant aesthetics in independent rock. Dead Meat’s sound may be a throwback, but it’s so tunefully crafted that it charms the way it did the first time around.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Tubs - Dead Meat Music Album Reviews The Tubs - Dead Meat Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on February 08, 2023 Rating: 5


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