An L.A.-based trio named for a Kinks B-side, Everybody Else, owe much to the harmonies and economical songwriting of the sixties, but they draw just as much on more modern music. Meat Market grooves like Outkast but has the screaming, bluesy vocals of Little Richard or the Animals. Say Goodbye combines an electroclash beat and new wave guitars with Elvis Costello-style lead vocals and a three part harmony reminiscent of the Beach Boys. The common thread is infuriatingly catchy songs and minimalist, Dancey arrangements that sound both retro and modern at the same time. The lyrics are full of concrete images, and are often more melancholy than the music they accompany. Over the fuzzed-out disco of In Memoriam are words about mourning the memories of lost love: I still see the blue, sunken barge/ down by the shore and I/ can taste the blackberry juice on our fingers/ But theres an echo of careless, callow footsteps/ that run by so quickly. Listeners are left in that magical place where we dont really know what we are feeling, but its giving us chills.
They have just finished a record with Rick Parker (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl) which captures the spirit of their electrifying live show, marked by an energy that always seems to teeter on the edge of chaos without ever falling apart.