Review Summary: Meat Beat Manifesto manages to articulate the sound they're known for
What do you get when you transform electronic dance music into a darker, more intimidating approach that is sometimes too much to handle? You get Meat Beat Manifesto, or more commonly known as MBM. The duo consists of Johnny Stephens and Jack Dangers who both have kept the band on it’s own two feet for the past decade or so. Together, they’ve provided us with the most incredibly strange, weird, and twisted electronic music out there. They’ve done hefty experimentation with the use of different genres ranging from dub to techno to a minor snares of jazz fusion, which altogether have set aside a lot of sufficient variety for their LP‘s. However, ‘Armed Audio Warfare’ doesn’t include any of the 3 genres listed above, but instead sticks to their original sound of electro-industrial that most certainly works like a charm. I mean, when bands latch themselves onto their main sound when they are in the process of another release, money says it will be highly favorable. However, I wouldn’t consider ’Armed Audio Warfare’ to be their best, or most shockingly brilliant album in the books, but it definitely is a mellow and chaotic adventure produced by the two men.
This time, Meat Beat Manifesto fiddles with a variety of Industrial themed, percussion orientated beats. It’s what a lot of ‘Armed Audio Warfare’ is based upon. Not saying their isn’t melody, there definitely is, but it’s nowhere near as prominent as the rhythm sections. They just don’t measure at the same height. The opening lead ‘Genocide’ perfectly exemplifies this. It’s rambled by a club-shaking, ear-splitting drum snare, and slides in a rather confusing melody that may take 3 or 4 tries to fully comprehend it. ‘Mister President’ is one of the dullest on ‘Armed Audio Warfare’. In a way it almost feels MBM attempts a hip-hop song that seemingly falls in the sewers. The beat is pretty cool, but their attempt to ( I think) impersonate the Beastie Boys by adding in scratching DJ parts mixed in with harsh use of the vox is just a little bare, and doesn’t reveal anything big for MBM. It’s an OK song at most, but not the champion on ‘Armed Audio Warfare.’ Thankfully, ‘Reanimor’ reclaims the place ‘Mister President’ didn’t. ‘Reanimor’ is wicked awesome. It’s a summer-oriented, mellow song, given the distinguishable Caribbean vocals, and dreamy beat. This song is one of my favorites off of ’Armed Audio Warfare.’ Other songs like ’Kneel and Buzz’ are in no mistake, not easy to get through. When I say this, I mean for 5 minutes, there are machinery, and well, intense buzz noises that outline the song altogether. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but not my favorite either. Think (this is original, I know) scratching your sharp fingernails on a chalkboard for 5 minutes, that punctures straight in your ear canal. This is what ‘Kneel and Buzz’ feels like, and nothing more. ‘Give your Body Its Freedom’ delivers a highly danceable, more accessible approach, with its complex loops, and furious beat, but isn’t Meat Beat Manifesto’s best.
I just love this album, and even though it’s not groundbreaking or anything, it’s still a pleasurable expedition to go on. The two gentleman know something about staying on course with their most well-known sound, and that is what makes me love ‘Armed Audio Warfare’ every time I listen to it. Meat Beat Manifesto have, once again, offered us with an all-around interesting and well-crafted electro-industrial tagged music that will welcome any new coming guest.