Mr. Meeble Never Trust The Chinese (Absolute Motion)
By Martin Cizmar For far too long, there were far too few bands interested in layering acoustic and electronic elements to make the sort of “chill” music that fills any respectable nightclub with pleather couches. Not anymore. Chill music is everywhere now, Phoenix and elsewhere, though not everyone is doing it as well as Kruder & Dorfmeister. Mr. Meeble does a lot of different things on their new record, but their chill side is definitely what stood out to me.
Emerging from veteran Valley, alternative/electronic outfit Zeta, Mr. Meeble is a collaboration between Devin Fleenor, Michael Plaster and Blain Klitzke. The band really runs the electronic gamut, from ambient (“Forget This Ever Happened”) to full on industrial (“A Ton of Bricks”). There’s something to be said for a band that can reimagine the Burt Bacharach classic “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” then sound like Halo 14-era Nine inch Nails a few songs later, but Mr. Meeble manages it.
Results, like styles, are mixed. “A Ton of Bricks,” built around candid lyrics about isolation and failure and set to measured piano and off-kilter drums is a highlight, and a lengthy instrumental break toward the end of the song is the lynchpin of Never Trust The Chinese.
“Cultivation of the Imagination,” on the other hand, drags, overusing a snippet of a spoken word (the song title) and with a boring beat that never really gels.
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While far from flawless, Never Trust The Chinese is an ambitious effort that has a lot of things going for it – even in a world newly awash with similar offerings.
If you’re a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to submit a CD for review, please send it in an envelope marked “YAFI” to:
Martin Cizmar You Asked For It c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032