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Where's the hook. Where's the hook hoook hook hook hook.

Where is it.

Because I don't want it to be the name. Everyone's going to say the name.

Yeah, it's a good name. I like it. I like loud bands with silly names. It's maybe the second best loud-band-with-silly-name name in the world right now. But that's not right, compressing this to a paltry two-word nyuk-nyuk.

Where's the hook.

The music. What's the music. See, I think Brother by Meat Wave sounds a bunch like the first Foos record, and I wanted to do this whole bit about how that sucks in the wider sense of things. That guitar-music trends are repeating in ever-smaller cycles: we got the '60s in the '00s, then the '70s, the '80s. And now for the last little while we've been getting the '90s. That critics and artists are using smirky little neologisms coined by Mark Arm/Thrasher as an easy couch, a marketing scam, now that Aaron Lewis seems like he's kind of an OK guy and we're all remembering that really, we've dug Mineral since day. This is a weird climate, one where it's OK for Noisey to say that a really great new band sounds like the Goo Goo Dolls, but where there are still all these really lumpen, super-serial bro-groups that appropriate junk-metal's sluggish fuzz but drop any notion of groove, that deal in pizza and skating and girl probs, rather than heroin addiction or body dysmorphia.

But all that's not fair, because while Brother does sound like the Foos first record, and while it does speak to the still-resounding influence of Attack On Memory, a record that brought those G and E words back into critical favour, it is not either of those things or either of those records. I don't think it gives much of a fuck about being them or like them, either, and that's just great.

There are whippy, thorned tendrils of distortion on here that, like Cloud Nothings or Cobain or everyone who ever did this sort of thing well, eschew the pomp and fat and bluster of everyone who ever did it badly. 'Sunlight' has this relentless, mantric quality to it that's sort of like getting really baked and staring at the shadow of your blinds on your foot for ages, realising with every passing second that your momentary procrastination has become emblematic of however many wasted years. I don't know what 'Brother's about (the vocals spew forth from a strangled larynx and into what I hope was a cheapish recording setup), but if the big ol' hook (oh shit, there it is) at its end flips the bird at the overuse of the fraternal address, I'll fuck with it. And even if not, come to that, because it really is a BIG fucking hook, a cool-as-fuck slowed-down chug thing where if it had a music video Chris Sutter would stare all brooding straight into the camera like Gavin Rossdale and I would just melt to shit and try to dress like him whenever I could.

These Chicagoans (is that a demonym? Chicagons? Chicagonauts?) are no pretenders, people. If anyone who picks up a guitar and makes a noise can be called that anyway, or if we're just being precious and paranoid and projecting our fears onto innocent humans with instruments when we say things like that. So if you're the sort of person who worries about credentials, shouts to The Wipers are present and correct here in the form of 'Mystery', which sounds as burning and vital as it probably did in 1979 and has me wondering why rock bands don't make gloopy bass runs more, because really, they sound mega tight. 'Sham King' is kind of like if Mark Linkous had decided to write a heavy metal song for Good Morning Spider, unhinged yells that ride a weird whiplash groove and sound nothing like heavy metal at all, really, unless you like Sparklehorse and thinking in vague, impressionistic terms.

Brother is no renoisessance, no 2nd (or 3rd or 4th or 5th) vanguard of whichever wave of whatever, but with a song like 'It's Not Alright' (lyrics, again, undecipherable), Meat Wave drill right down to the core of what punk rock is for so many of us; an unfettered and impotent primal scream down the pitch black barrel of whatever relative horror we find ourselves staring into. And that, I think, is all the hook I'll ever need.

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