Loose Meat are a band still so new that googling their name returns myriad recipes for an Iowan delicacy made with ground beef and fried onions in a bap above links to any musical accomplishments, despite one half of the band, Mark ‘Arp’ Cleveland, having previous as drummer in the much-loved Archie Bronson Outfit. Perhaps fortunately for Loose Meat (the food), the debut album from Loose Meat (the band) doesn’t offer much to buck that ranking, filling itself with competent but forgettable indie-disco electro that occasionally sparkles but mainly sags.
It starts promisingly enough: ‘Human Motivation’ and ‘Edge of Love’ both slink around with agreeable sass, but the record heads south quickly. ‘Octopus’’s repeated refrain of “dipped in, dipped in, we’ve been dipped in a biscuit tin” might’ve seemed enigmatic during recording but now is just baffling, ‘Regulator’ is a half-decent Hot Chip track in search of a soul, and ‘Harbour of Your Heart’ is a CSS off-cut, at best.
Much bluster abounds from the band about making music that “embraces a new eclectic sound”, finding “that rarest, golden musical moment: the new”. The bravado is entertaining, sure, but the truth is more prosaic: this is likeable, anonymous background stuff for your next house party, while you wait for people to turn up; the kind of sound that’s outfamed by a burger.
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