Meat Wave is a brilliant name. It’s so evocative; I’m imagining a towering tsunami, shadowing the sleepy, small town beneath it. But this is no regular tsunami, instead of the foreboding deep blue of oceans, this tsunami is bright pink, with the grooved texture of mince and the only fluid the excess blood dripping off the supermarket-variety product. The tsunami begins to curl – I don’t think tsunamis do that, but this my imagination so bugger off – but as soon as it does so, it begins to warble and bend, and the previously menacing wave shatters like a broken cartoon mirror, dropping mince and beef patties and sausages and steaks and all sorts of mouth-watering animal remains onto the village. Cue Dave, the village funny bloke, shouting after the carnage has ended “Oi barbecue at mine!” and getting loads of laughs (and naturally loads of chicks).
Like any good Australian, a Meat Wave should sound pretty bloody appetising, especially when it involves surf rock as good as Cosmic Zoo.
In a quirk of fate, or because they’re artistic gods, Meat Wave has provided a backing track, Cosmic Zoo, pincering the listener between the stimulation provided by their awesome name and the imagination provoked by a roaring song. And it’s quite a fitting track, because right off the bat (not an Australian’s, that’s for sure) the song jumps into happy, surf rock chords. See what I mean? They knew people would be thinking about their name a lot, so they only added to that wave impression.
The singer Chris Sutter chimes in, his throat work seamlessly fitting into the song’s early machinations. Around the time Sutter comes in, the surf rock beginning starts to recede to make space for Cosmic Zoo’s true form, an indie dance number not too far removed from Bloc Party.
Now, I always feel bad comparing bands to other bands; some bands probably grumble about it and it’s frankly a bit lazy. But hey; Bloc Party are coming out, so they were on my mind. Bloc Party are big though, and for a reason. Well, they’re big for a load of reasons, but regardless of genre, the best thing a band can do (and which Bloc Party does) is actually write songs well.
For rock bands that means hitting us with good riffs, coming late and leaving early with ideas, keeping us interested with what’s going on with the song and the band’s music, sorting out the melody and making it attractive, and singing about something relatable. The lyrical topic of Dave and his village being crushed by a large formation of various meat products aside, Meat Wave and their Cosmic Zoo is a well formed song. It says what it has to say, says it well, and then leaves on a high. You can’t really expect more, and that’s what makes it a fun track.
It’s high time you listened to the song, so I’ll just leave some information before I go. Cosmic Zoo will be track five on the band’s upcoming album Delusion Moon. They’re also about to embark on a tour of the eastern US (have I mentioned they’re from Chicago? They’re from Chicago everyone) and England, so if you’re about to shoot off to either place and haven’t really planned your holiday, there’s something to do.