Monday, March 21, 2011

The Me-Thinks' "Wazwulf"/"Greasy Lightning"

The Me-Thinks have long prided themselves on being underachievers; where most bands give 100% onstage, they generally shoot for 75%. So how else to follow up 2007's Make Mine a Double E.P. but with a seven-inch vinyl slab containing two, count 'em, _two_ new songs? Of course, Ray Liberio, Sir Marlin Von Bungy, and the other fellas have always wanted to hear themselves on vinyl, and with that lovely format (and digital downloads) having supplanted CDs since they last weighed in on disc, it just seems to make sense. Especially when they've taken the time and care to press on beer-colored vinyl, with custom labels and a snazzy picture sleeve courtesy of Ray's "art crimes" outfit, Pussyhouse Propaganda.

Since their last outing, the Me-Thinks have parted ways with founding drummer/songwriting secret weapon Will Risinger, and added two new members to the lineup. (I know, we're talking four years ago, but still...) Trucker Jon Simpson, who also kicks the traps with One Fingered Fist when they're active, is the finest skinsman ever to emerge from Weatherford, Texas, while Michael Bandy (ex-Dragworms, ex-Barrel Delux, guest soloist on the double E.P.'s "Bong MacGyver") adds a second guitar to the mix that fills out the sound nicely. (All those one-guitar bands overdub in the studio, so why not just have two?)

This time, they cut at the Echo Lab out in Argyle, with the estimable Matt Barnhart at the controls and ex-Wreck Room/current Lola's wizard o' sound Andre Edmonson, who's mixed more Me-Thinks shows than anybody, pitching in on the final mix. "Wazwulf" bursts out of the gate firing on all cylinders a la Motorhead, with leather-lunged Ray roaring out lyrics about what happens to Ratsamy Pathammavong every time the moon is full over Haltom City, and a closing guitar break straight off of Master of Reality. "Greasy Lighting" opens with a blast of heaviosity and string-scraping, then takes its time before getting down to biz, its pummeling riffage topped with typically self-deprecating lyrics ("Too fat to be famous / Too wasted to know / Too high to realize / We're too old / We're too loud...").

In sum, a solid souvenir of the Me-Thinks' sweaty stage trip, which you can experience in person this Saturday at Lola's, where they're topping a bill that also includes Pinkish Black, Elvis Took Acid, and the Dangits. All that's missing is the smoke machine. And beer.


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