(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
The suppositions, or perhaps, implications, of a name like TEST MEAT are quite vast and allow for a lot to ponder in one’s imagination.
Is TEST MEAT a verb? Like a direction or call to action of some type? Maybe it is, you know, like: “This is a chunk of TEST MEAT from that pork shoulder that’d been in the freezer for 5 years“. See? Endless possibilities exist in that case, right?
Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, but eh, whatever. I can tell you this, that in today’s case, for the purpose of this review, TEST MEAT is a noun… a name, in fact. It is the adopted name of a Boston-based trio, one with quite a hell of a pedigree when it comes to bands this threesome has connections to.
Vocalist / guitarist Darryl Shepard‘s tenure includes such acts as KIND and BlackWolfGoat, plus legendary ones like Slapshot, Roadsaw, and Milligram. Meanwhile, drummer Michael Nashawaty has done time in Planetoid, Bird Language, and Slim And The Tank, and for their latest recorded effort, the three-song ‘Please Hurt’” EP, the duo were joined on bass by Aarne Victorine (UXO, Whitey, Easter Bloodhounds). He has since exited the band.
Now, if you know anything about the Bean Town area music scene, then you probably know the region has its very own sound or sonic styling. Same as Seattle or the Pacific Northwest has grunge, or how NOLA has southern sludge, Boston too has spawned its own thing. It is a gritty, chunky, blue-collar, heavy rock type thing with undercurrents of angst-y punk and hardcore embedded within its underbelly.
The trio of tracks dispelled here, “Please Hurt“, “Class“, and “Motor Away“, all clock in around the two and a half-minute mark each, give or take. In that shorter span of playing time, there are abundant heaps of thick riffs, masses of rock piled rhythms, and incendiary drumming armaments exploding all over the place.
Precision point intensity permeates each track with an ever-present sense of purpose, like that found on the intro number, “Please Hurt“. But its follow-up, “Class“, is a driving, pulsing deployment of instrumentation, one where things are continually at play, with a rapid fire delivery that is able to leave you reeling in its wake.
“Motor Way” deviates from the formula somewhat, taking on a slower pace rife with groove and lighter vibes. A bit more melodic and uplifting, the song is catchy and contains some discernible pop-like touches.
So, throw caution to the wind and take a bite of TEST MEAT via the ‘Please Hurt‘ EP in our review here. Perhaps you prefer to go chow down on further streaming and purchase options at Bandcamp? You can sure do that too, at this LINK.