“The songs are concise and get to the point. No song is over four minutes long, most are under three.”
For the ADD generation, that above statement from the press release for ENJOY, the debut full-length from Boston’s Test Meat should be a ray of sunshine. Much like the entirety of the album.
But I digress.
I’m in the midst of typing up another review in which I talk about how the artist in question is part of an elite class where they’re basically constantly putting out music in the upper echelons of what is damn near perfect. Then I get to ENJOY, the new album from Test Meat and I’m put in the position of having another band with output just as strong. Which, as a reviewer, is the absolute best kind of predicament to find oneself in!
Take opener “Brunt” which has Darryl Shepard’s riffs coming at you like classic Helmet with Michael Nashawaty’s synchronized bashing keeping the pace steady. “Cuts ‘N Bruises” eases up on the tempo but doesn’t relent when it comes to heavy intent while “Short” is a bouncy riff rawker bringing to mind the heyday of the Grunge era. “No No No” follows suit and that trend on a track that has Shepard lamenting the changes in a former best friend and later, “Messed Up” is a different kind of monster, slowing things down and showing off the depth of Shepard’s vocal range.
Is there a good kind of earworm? Because that’s kind of what “Jocelyn” is. We reviewed the track here when it popped up on the Death Kiss Volume 2 compilation and it was an instant fave and still is even if the catchy ass rawker gets stuck in our heads for DAYS following a solid listen to it.
“Heat Knob” is, ahem, a scorcher as this barrage of riffs, pummeling Nashawaty beats, and Shepard’s screams come at listeners full force before a one liner at the end completely changes the landscape of what listeners just experienced. Then “Hibernaut” lumbers in, lurching and crawling with these monolithic riffs that are as thick as molasses and as brutal as anything the melvins were laying down in the mid-’90’s.
“Speechless” is more upbeat and fun, treading desert rawk terrain on a track that answers the question of what it would sound like if Nick Oliveri did vocals on the first QOTSA record. And finally, “Bright Blue Sun” closes out ENJOY with a ferocious Husker Du meets Sugar jam that is just one more reason why Test Meat should be one of your new favorite bands.
ENJOY lands on September 24th through Team Meat Records. You can get yours soon by clicking on this space here. For more on Test Meat, including where to catch them next live, head on over here or here.