by Alex Monzel
Meet Meet Your Death’s Meet Your Death: the eight track self-titled debut LP from the newly formed group comprised of John Schooley, Walter Daniels, Matt Hammer and Harpal Assi. The genres listed in the album’s description call it “rock, alternative and punk,” but it leans much closer to garage rock. As you’ll quickly discover, however, Meet Your Death is not the kind of band to color inside the lines, so expect anything.
Right off the bat, the listener can tell this record is going to be a lot of fun. Meet Your Death may be a title that scares away the faint of heart, but rest assured that anyone can enjoy something on this album. Except for women when it comes to “Obeah Man” and “Straight, Hard and Long.” Hopefully I don’t have to explain that one.
Meet Your Death is like what you’re semi-functional alcoholic stepfather Frank listens to when he works on his car in the garage. As long as you don’t pay attention too intently or ask too many questions, I’m sure you’ll be fine.
Unlike real life, when musicians try too hard, the results rarely end up being an equal reward for the amount of effort put in. Think about it: have you ever seen a rock star that cared about anything? Except for Bono. But he doesn’t count.
Meet Your Death captures that spontaneity and cool indifference that makes rock music so appealing. Their sound, hailing from a variety of genres, is unique. Each track is unique. But, I’d argue (though I thought I’d never say this) that Meet Your Death could actually benefit from some mainstream appropriation.
Look, I’m not saying they should change their style; I’m not suggesting that they replace each member with an attractive teen pop star willing to dress in minimal clothing for music videos that have nothing to do with the song; I’m merely suggesting an upgrade in quality. Perhaps I’ve become spoiled with how much audio engineering technology has advanced in recent years (and how readily available it all is), but I truly believe that some extra effort on this record could have made it great.
Take the instrumental breaks on “Straight, Long and Hard” for instance. They played it a bit fast and loose, but imagine if it were precise and tight. With doubled guitars and a kick drum that actually cut through the mix. With a little bit of extra effort, it could’ve been a driving metal anthem that contemporary music has been missing lately.
Meet Your Death is definitely a band to watch. Though not earth-shattering or genre-defining, their debut release has provided a solid foundation for what could be the start of something great.