There’s a riveting ska scene shifting and shaking up the UK and stuck right in the middle of the upbeat, skanking madness is The Meow Meows, a nine-piece ska-punk sensation out of Brighton. Formed in 2005, The Meow Meows have since released one full-length album entitled Somehow We Met with the help of renowned sound engineer and record producer Prince Fatty, associated with collaborating LP’s for Lily Allen, Gregory Isaacs, Dub Syndicate, The Skints, Graham Coxon of Blur, among many others. Now ten years into the act, The Meow Meows have once again turned to their familiar friend and colleague Prince Fatty to produce their latest project Friends On Benefits: a three-song high-energy EP on the Jump Up! Records label available for digital download as well as limited edition 7″ vinyl this July 13th. Punktastic exclusively premiered the release on July 7th, starting a tidal wave of anticipation for the general public.
The Meow Meows continued to exert their tongue-in-cheek lyrics in between societal overtones
The EP began as part of a “Music To Move” project by London’s Fuel Theatre, who’s sole purpose was to compose music alongside choreography to inspire listeners to dance; out of ten participating groups, “Friends On Benefits” was The Meow Meows’ emphatic response. The single got slotted as the title track for the EP, setting a fun tonality for equally playful tracks to follow. “London Road” is the second song, with a bustling backbeat eluding to the never-ending hubbub of a city street. However, instead of a happy tourist vibe, the combination of the bubble organ and soft vocals – especially with the harpsichord addition in the bridge – emits a more ominous and spooky aura, almost like a montage of a Scooby Doo episode or being a lost child at a crowded carnival. Similar to their first album, The Meow Meows continued to exert their tongue-in-cheek lyrics in between societal overtones which is most evident in their concluding track, “Tits & Hatred”. The chorus indicates that an individual in any given society is rendered silent by the overshadowing mass media, for instance in the lyrics “there’s nothing we can do; I read it in the paper, so it’s definitely true”. Despite lyrics traversing a serious world issue, the track’s tempo is fast and the timbre buoyant, thus it’s all meant to be a mockery.
To build up the hype even higher, The Meow Meows have just announced a video release for the “Friends On Benefits” single to be broadcasted on the EP’s release date of July 13th as well. The video is produced and directed by Chris Hugall, a London-based videographer who has provided top-notch music videos for British bands such as The Skints, Slaves, 2.54 and others. The video is primarily black-and-white – with few spurts of color in between – and not only brings The Meow Meows vivacity to the forefront, but also adds a taste of classy elegance with the 8mm-style recording and jump-cut editing. The project was privately premiered on Clash and is now on YouTube for public viewing.
Preview and download Friends On Benefits on
Friends On Benefits track listing
- Friends On Benefits
- London Road
- Tits & Hatred
The Meow Meows “Friends On Benefits”
Release date • June 22, 2015
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.