Where there are relationships, there’ll be those that come to an end. And where there are those that come to an end, there’ll be emo bands looking to bleed their soul onto record. In the case of Meat Wave’s Chris Sutter, ‘The Incessant’ comes in the aftermath of a 12-year-long relationship that come to an end in 2014, and the sense of frustration that emerges on this album is undeniably palpable.
As well as Sutter’s howls, there’s the fuzzed-up production on tracks like the opener ‘To Be Swayed’ and the bursts of angular guitars like the acute, hypnotic riff on ‘Leopard Print Jet Ski’ to fully emphasise the dissonance felt. It only gets pushed further and further as the album progresses, eventually reaching the 50-second blast of noise on ‘Mask’, or its absolute peak on closer ‘Killing The Incessant’, a bludgeoning ordeal of noise and warped rock ‘n’ roll madness.
It’s not an easy listen, but then again it’s probably not meant to be, representing the out-of-control spiralling of Sutter’s mind following the loss of something so prominent in most of his life. And that’s why ‘The Incessant’ feels like an album for himself above anyone else; it’s the sort of fragmented, dissonant listen that an outside observer couldn’t even begin to decode to any depth, filled with emotions that can feel so alien to anyone but its creator.
As such, fully judging ‘The Incessant’ feels wrong in a way, in that there’s no way to really grasp what’s being conveyed without having lived it. On a purely sonic level, it’s equal parts intriguing and off putting, but for an album as unflinching as this, it’s hard to expect anything less.
‘The Incessant’ by Meat Wave is released on 17th February on SideOneDummy Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)