Meat Beat Manifesto - 99%

What the frak is it? Some kind of trippy vegan industrial dub?

I have been listening to a ton of Meat Beat Manifesto lately. I have been listening to my iTunes, streaming from their Bandcamp page (I gotta buy the new album for sure) and listening to a MBM based Pandora station. D has been very patient with me.

I saw MBM live more than maybe any other band in the 90s. It seems like they were in Tampa every 6 months for a few years there. But this new resurgence of them in my earholes isn’t entirely nostalgia. I’m enjoying the new material as well as records I had previously heard and enjoyed but never fully “got”.

But today, I was in a very bad mood. I am dealing with computer upgrades and the various annoyances that come along that road. So when I jumped on my MBM shuffle and the first track to play was “All The Things You Are” from 99% I decided to stop the shuffle, go to the beginning of the album and listen, to the entire thing. My bad mod is gone!

99% has always been and probably always will be my favorite Meat Beat Manifesto record. It’s just fracking brilliant. When it came out I had never heard anything like it and to this day I still haven’t, not even other MBM records. It’s industrial-ish and dub-is and filed with film samples and strange noises but it’s also super catchy. It’s really a brilliant pop record. The vocals and lyrics are great! And the bass…

OK. Favorite bass players? Of course, if you listen to and make the sort of music like I do it’s the Simons, Simon Gallup and Simon Raymonde, and then Dean Garcia (all from the C bands, The Cure, The Cocteau Twins, and Curve), and then Peter Hook, of course. But the guy I’ve always wished I could play bass like is Jack Dangers from MBM. I’m a sucker for that tone and dub groove. I love how he doesn’t even play a lot of the time, like in “10x Faster than the Speed of Love” when almost 3 minutes into the track the bass drops out for nearly 2 whole minutes. The song just build this tension that is released when the bass finally kicks back in and grooves to the end. It’s the genius of not doing anything.

Well, anyway. It’s a phenomenal record and if you haven’t heard it you should listen. Then you should go buy it and if you happen to find an extra vinyl copy and want to send it to me I’d be forever in your debt.

Also, I stumbled across this great write up on the record on Brainwashed. It’s a slightly more traditional review than my rambling praise. Worth the read for sure.

And finally. I’ll leave you with this…The video for “Psyche Out”, which is for a completely different version of the song than the version on the album. But honestly, the album version is about 99% better than the video version. I mean the album version has the lyric, “The most dangerous man to walk on water.” How can you beat that?

-J

Jeremy WilkinsComment