A lot of the chatter surrounding Meat Wave is reserved for the band’s name, an Onion article inspired curio that might be as confusing as it is potentially disgusting. Slightly less chatter is dedicated to the band’s sonic respect for Hot Snakes and The Wipers (though the latter most likely has to do with their great, straightforward cover of “Mystery”). On Delusion Moon, the band make good on their post hardcore and noise rock influences while leaning a little harder on their songwriting strengths.
At nearly 40 minutes, Delusion Moon is the longest piece of recorded output Meat Wave has released thus far. Despite this, the band doesn’t waste any time, opening the album with the blaring, off kilter title track. It isn’t until the fourth song, “Sunlight,” that the band allow themselves to utilize a slow build before picking up momentum. The track is a clear highlight, and not just because of its distinguishing structure. “Sunlight” is taught and intense without losing the offbeat melodies the band writes so well.
Elsewhere on the record, Meat Wave bely their Chicago origins by dipping into territory previously carved out by Shellac and bands of their ilk. Tracks like “Network” and “Witchcraft” contain bass lines I’m sure Bob Weston wouldn’t mind calling his own. “Erased” portrays Meat Wave at their most straightforward, alternating between catchy and brutish while sporting a speeding guitar riff splattered over a rolling drumbeat. Lyrically, the album is full of acerbic observations about society and politics. Rollicking closer “They Gay Contempt” touches on the matter of right wing punditry, previously extolled upon on “NRA.”
Sharing a couple of songs from their excellent Brother EP released earlier this year, Delusion Moon still has plenty for old fans to chew on. More importantly, the album can serve as a proper introduction for newcomers. With just a short full length and a scattered EP under their belts, Meat Wave can treat Delusion Moon as a proper achievement: the moment of finally solidifying the sound they’ve grasped at from the beginning. Delusion Moon is the noise of a band making good on their early promise. (Keenan Novi)