Hassle Records have got a pretty impressive track record when it comes to delivering quality bands. The likes of Cancer Bats and Lonely The Brave come to mind, and the newest name to add to that list are Cheap Meat with their debut EP ‘The Parts That Show’, a solid little introduction to a thoroughly talented new band.
Across these four tracks, there’s the sort of candied cyanide approach to songwriting that bands like Muncie Girls have made their own – the lyrics really hit home upon examination, but they’re wrapped in such hummable melodies and Ross Drummond’s crystal clear vocals that they could easily infiltrate rock’s mainstream.
They share a number of musical similarities with Muncie Girls too, namely the combination of indie, grunge and punk that masterfully toes the line between heady and awkward. ‘Sweetness, Take Me Back’ breezes by but still manages to hit, while ‘The Distance Between You And Me’ has a joyously lilting hook that hugely contrasts with its sombre grunge crunch.
Brevity is used as a valuable asset on ‘The Parts That Show’; it doesn’t run very far over the ten-minute mark, but makes every second count, packing in as many hooks and melodies as they can on the swirling closer ‘For A Moment’. What’s more, they manage to do this without spreading themselves too thinly, opting for a condensed layered sound that really works for them.
The only real fault is that it occasionally feels as though Cheap Meat are unsure of what they want to be given the dramatic shifts in tones, especially between ‘Sweetness, Take Me Back’ and ‘For A Moment’. It’s nothing really you wouldn’t expect from a debut though – Cheap Meat have got plenty of time to hone their skills and become the force they deserve to be.
‘The Parts That Show’ by Cheap Meat is released on 4th March on Hassle Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)