The details don’t matter – too complex
The audience just wants to be entertained
(Don’t pay attention)
The Meteor Police of New Jersey are an auditory entity that embodies many contradictions. Their soundscapes are intricately woven with progressive narrative threads and pop influences, firmly grounded on a foundation of punk sass, classic DC hardcore, and unbridled fury. Their music is a potent and intoxicating mix of sonic rebellion.
Across the length and breadth of their debut album New Type Destroyer, the band ricochets like a pinball between the dissonant edges of Fugazi and the metallic grit of the Beastie Boys’ heavier eras. They salt their auditory stew with a hint of surf rock, tipping their hats to their Jersey Shore birthplace, and stir in the raw punk energy of The Damned and The Dead Milkmen. A soupçon of classical guitar motifs, conjuring echoes of Yes, add unexpected depth to this vibrant mixture. Meteor Police are a veritable crucible of eclectic influences, a conglomerate of…well, everything.
This theme of contradiction is carried forward by their frontman, Shawn Clancy. His vocals launch unflinching assaults on historical revisionism, the subculture of incels, and the public’s dark fascination with personal trauma as entertainment – all while his head is ensconced in a cardboard box. A symbol of the absurdity of their journey or a satire on performance norms? Only the band knows, as they navigate this labyrinth of paradox with aplomb.
The album opens with the blistering In The Beginning: There Was Disaster! Although merely two minutes long, the song sets the stage with a warning and hope that you have your life raft handy. The album then plunges into Incel King, a seething post-hardcore anthem castigating the edgelord archetype. It ruthlessly punctures the inflated bubble of this peculiar subculture, where frail masculinity cloaks itself in a shroud of imagined victimhood. The track, a scathing commentary, swings a biting axe at the roots of this culture, painting a vivid critique of its fragility.
Odd Construct is a more introspective lamentation of regret, chanted over haunting guitars before exploding into pain. We Killed Davy Crockett is a history revisionist protest song railing against the immorality of Manifest Destiny with a sprechstimme bark sounding as if Fred Schneider appeared with Black Flag.
I Don’t Care About The Weather is a PIL-style rebellion number against everyday strife becoming a form of torture porn for social media. The surf-goth love song Nihilist Jazz finds that same kind of eco-dystopian romance laid out in Fad Gadget’s Fireside Favourites: the world may be burning and drowning, but there’s still something to cling to…sort of.
Routine Miracles/Endless Thirst is a nightmarish vision; Vampire Squid explores oceanic depths, amid cryptic creatures, silence reigns and offers a euphoric stillness reminiscent of a long-lost embrace. Amid the collective cruelty, one questions their identity, striving not to inflict harm yet unable to alleviate paranoia. Brick Thief rails against generational trauma; In The End There Was Survival! is about humanity’s downfall from greed.
New Jersey’s Meteor Police, a band as unexpected as its name, wasn’t exactly the melodic journey its members had aspired to embark upon. The bass strings of the group, William Pompeo, dreamed of creating symphonies where he wouldn’t be confined to the rhythmic resonances of his bass guitar. After years of disheartening trials and tribulations, Shawn Clancy, the vocalist found himself on the brink of renouncing band life altogether. Meanwhile, the string genius, Dustin James had nearly abandoned music altogether, favouring the solitude of a solo act, with his fingers strumming more on the Omnichord than the familiar chords of his guitar. At the back of the group, drummer Justin Wright, his heart beating in sync with his drums, longed for the complexities of progressive or psychedelic rock, finding punk’s discord a bit too jarring for his tastes.
Thus, when destiny intertwined their paths during the isolating spring of the 2021 pandemic, their divergent music aspirations should have constructed an impregnable wall of discord. Yet, as if by some cosmic joke, Meteor Police didn’t just exist – it thrived – resonating in harmonious chaos, this unpredictable ensemble carved their own niche, flourishing amidst the cacophony of their contradictions.
With New Type Destroyer Meteor Police has lent further credence to the concept that unity can indeed birth something that surpasses the mere sum of individual components. This record represents a mosaic of stubborn compromises and serendipitous revelations, all stemming from the unconventional decision of four unique souls to cast aside the safety of common sense, and instead, explore the outer limits of their clashing musical inclinations.
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