Review: Meat Jelly Isn’t Gross

Much like the food meat jelly itself, the DIY music community has been around for a long time. Many musicians have taken the DIY spirit to heart to build something special, including the band Meat Jelly!

Around since late 2017, Meat Jelly hails from Madison Wisconsin. They play a unique blend of punk, emo, and blues rock that is (luckily) a lot less gross than their band’s name. In their first year and a half of being active, they recorded an EP, went on numerous weekend tours, and even did a two week tour of the Midwest.

Now, they’re busy working on a debut full length album! While we’re waiting for its release, Meat Jelly was kind enough to give us a dual-sided 7″ vinyl single release of the first two tracks of their recent sessions. Released on March 15, 2019, the singles, “Harvesting Season” and “Chuck Downfield” are available on all streaming platforms accompanied by a video. Although the tracks are very different, the band thinks they represent the diversity of Meat Jelly’s sound perfectly.

“Harvesting Season” begins with a soothing, rhythmic instrumental that builds to the introduction of pretty clean vocals with a clear punk influence. Although I wish the bass was higher in the mix to add more to the rather empty-sounding low end, the higher end is clear enough to hear and understand the majority of the lyrics and appreciate the synth-like instrumental tones. Fans of 7 Minutes in Heaven, Queens of the Stone Age, and even Trash Boat will likely enjoy this mellow yet energetic single.

“Chuck Downfield” takes the punk influences to the next level with a faster tempo, jam-packed measures, and classic rhythms. The high and low ends are very well-balanced, allowing both the bass and drum lines and the vocals and guitar to be appreciated. The vocals are heavier, reminiscent of Vigil Antics and Deftones, with some light screaming added into the mix. The energies of the vocals and instrumentals mix well and last to the very last beat, even growing during one of my favorite moments in the song: Beginning at 2:17, we have a breakdown! The interruption gives us one last burst of energy for the end of the song, making this track a potentially perfect album closer. This song is definitely my favorite of the two, although I appreciated getting to see the range of Meat Jelly’s talent.

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