REVIEW: The Meligrove Band: Let It Grow
The Meligrove Band: Let It Grow [Endearing, 2003] (mp3)
Three words? Hate YR Generation
It's this simple: If you a) enjoy Going Coastal, b) avidly read Chart magazine, c) miss how Sloan used to be good, or d) spent most of high school under a mop of ridiculous Thurston Moore-hair, the Meligrove Band (and their second full-length album, Let It Grow) are going to be right up your alley. Or will they? While unquestionably talented and energetic, the problem with the band is that they are just as much fans of 90s Halifax indie-pop as you are. For members of Meligrove's prospective audience, listening to Let It Grow may mirror the experience of a comic book geek at a convention where the keynote speaker is - rather than Stan Lee or Todd MacFarlane - a fellow comic book geek.
But that's not to say that the Meligrove Band's songs don't occasionally meet the heights of those of their idols. "Really, Really, Really" is slick and lovely with some nice piano and trumpet, "Dr. Moon & the Stars" is a nice atmospheric piece with subtle harmonica, and "Check Your Messages" straddles a line between sincerity and tongue-in-cheekness during the finest three-and-a-half on the album.
But repeated listenings get boring. Quickly. Let It Grow works best when it hums along in the background, since the lyrics are not particularly memorable or inventive. It would be a chore for me to quote more than a couple of lines off the entire disc, and I've been listening to it for like 4 days now. And would it kill them to slow it down for a couple songs? Jesus.
Had it not been done countless times before, The Meligrove Band's combination of Cheap Trick riffs, Beatles melodies and Sonic Youth noisy slackness would be a sure cure for the blues. But there's just nothing here that you haven't heard before. Let It Grow is the gangly third cousin of your formerly favorite albums.
(Inspired by Sean's iron-fisted stance against copyright-controlled cds, I am docking this and all future Endearing releases 0.3 for their failure to provide track lists with their promotional albums. Curse those handsome devils.)