MP3: Mr. Meeble – “Star Power”
Mr. Meeble’s grimy electro-pop lends itself to late-night club music, but without the stale repetition that numbs party-goers. The range of emotion conveyed on the trio’s new EP, Nostalgic for Now, shows a bold and exciting sound that reminds highly ambitious electronic-minded acts like Nine Inch Nails and Aphex Twin, as well as melodic and rhythmic-friendly names of the caressing trip-hop variety like Massive Attack and Air. The large electro-pop scope goes hand-in-hand with the intimate lyrics. The frontman, Devin Fleenor, explains it well: “Our first album is the dark aftermath of a real life catastrophe. Nostalgic for Now comes from a happier place, but don’t expect upbeat. My life is a complicated, intense, and beautiful mess. I’m guessing the music reflects that.”
“Star Power” is what got my attention initially. The ‘wah’ vocal sample that repeats over suavely plucked guitars and keyboard glissandi reminds of beaten-up disco, in the best sense possible. Fleenor’s voice resembles a subdued Jarvis Cocker, recalling the deep and sonorous vocalists of the Brit-pop era, which interwove beautifully with the concurrent trip-hop scene on occasion. Mr. Meeble would fit somewhere well at such a time, though it shouldn’t be hard to appreciate the attempts now.
The rapid variation on the opener, “Liar”, finds thumping electro transitioning into a soft interlude backed by synth pads and a gentle choral lead. It’s a nice introduction to Mr. Meeble, but the EP has several more highlights, specifically the soaring “Gift“. The first half comes out of nowhere with its twangy guitar lead and typical pop drums, but its beautiful melody rides high. The journey it takes from there meshes a prog-rock ideology with intelligent use of electronics, with a cinematic feel that beckons for a quality music video. There’s plenty to be excited about with this trio, and Nostalgic for Now shows us why.
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The diverse fearlessness of their music is a fitting representation of who they are: like the original beneficiaries of their sound, Mr. Meeble is set on breaking away from earthbound restrictions recording artist.
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