Fans of Eef Barzelay and his unfortunately christened band Clem Snide got a long awaited gift last year with the release of Hungry Bird, the oft-delayed album that was subject to the plagues of internal creative strife and personnel disarray.
After some promising solo projects, Barzelay decided to regroup Clem Snide, wrapped up Hungry Bird for ‘09 release, toured with his cohorts and set out to continue the Snide-ly legacy. To our great delectation, twelve fresh new slices of The Meat of Life arrive February 23 via the 429 label, clearly the result of a renewed and reinvigorated creative process from Barzelay (who describes his songs as “confrontational”) and backing members Brendan Fitzpatrick (bass, organ) and Ben Martin (drums).
As with all Snide works dating back well over a decade, Meat boasts all the signature traits that have characterized their sound and style: literate wordplay, unpredictable time signatures and off-kilter melodies all laid out with ambitious scope balanced with a raw, not-quite-ragged directness. The skittering indie-pop charms of “Denise” and sharp-cornered “I Got High” share space with the delicate sensitivity of “Nothing Much to Show of It”, ebullient harmonies at play with a lovely string arrangement. Recommended.