The Bombastic Meatbats, “More Meat”

Written by on December 9, 2010 in December 9, 2010, Music and DVD Reviews, Music Reviews - Comments Off on The Bombastic Meatbats, “More Meat”

A CD Review

Bombastic MeatbatsThe Bombastic Meatbat’s second instrumental jazz /rock/fusion album ‘More Meat’ on Warrior Records is pure energy throughout as the band shows off their most considerable chops. Tricky time signatures, harmonious electronics and aggressive riffing is the name of the game and the band pulls it off admirably. The first track on the CD, ‘Passing The Ace’ has playful style, a fabulous groove and driving beat, providing a wealth of avenues the rest of the album to follow. The Meatbats are; Red Hot Chili Pepper’s drummer, Chad Smith, guitarist Jeff Kollman, keyboardist Ed Roth, and Kevin Chown on bass. Introduced from working together on rock legend and former Deep Purple bassist, Glenn Hughes’ 2003 release, ‘Songs In the Key of Rock’, forming The Bombastic Meatbats happened accidentally. This is most definitely a happy accident. They’ve already claimed the #8 spot on Itunes Jazz, as well as the top 25 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums.

The Meatbats are reminiscent of an early Jeff Beck style of sound but with better drums. Take the next song, ‘Mountain of Meat’, which is built around the drums; cowbell driven, with Jeff Kollman’s tasteful chording enhancing the song throughout. These first two cuts are indicative of several things; the sound, the smart style, and the prominent keyboards and guitars. The songs are rich in sonic texture. The third track, ‘The Gunboat Is On!’ is a happy, bouncy puppy of a song that just wants to play and have fun. Track four titled ‘Shag’ shifts into a mellow, languid, loungy feel, like something on a Sade album. What truly makes the ‘More Meat’ CD genius is its ability to transport the listener into another world for its duration. ‘Greasy Louie’ kicks off with a gurgling, funky keyboard-generated bass line. The lead guitar runs are fleet and varied; it carries a rambunctious element, especially with Chad Smith’s extraordinary yet still focused drumming being allowed to roam free.

Bombastic MeatbatsMelodies bounce with vigor on the track, ‘For Your Courtesy’, a buoyant roll through various scales that holds onto a sweet romantic air with Ed’s piano. The music has enough space to smoothly segue from the varying eclectic, jazz-rock, funky fusion tracks right into the more languorous, atmospheric tracks. This is what makes the album so good is that it manages to go down all of these avenues, and it still sounds cohesive, yet another reason why it’s such an amazing record. It just feels smart. ‘More Meat’ is a must-have on any road trip as this is some excellent driving music with immaculate audio quality.

Talented players communicate with the proper chops on the track ‘And We All Swing The Tuna’, creating very malleable textures and a sassy end. The Meatbats cover of Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick creates a prime vehicle for wanton exhibitionism. After the band winds up, there is a brief pause and then the biggest hard-rawk guitar section of the whole album – satisfying to no end. Their tune ‘Lobster Legs’ is breezily catchy and the tune goes from the meditative to fiery. The lush and dreamy ‘Shilo’s Forbidden City Blues’ takes pure groove to levels heretofore unseen. Kollman handles the gorgeous melodies with a jeweler’s delicacy, turning each one over as if examining priceless diamonds. ‘Roller Girl’ is full of character, a descent into the 70’s. It manages to tell a transfixing story without using any words at all.

Bombastic MeatbatsBombastic MeatbatsBombastic MeatbatsBombastic MeatbatsBombastic MeatbatsLastly, the lengthy, super smooth ‘Dr. Blotter & Miss Purple (Ride In The Echoplex)’ is a wistful, somewhat unpredictable musical roller-coaster of a track that so deftly takes fans for a ride with plodding, drifting rhythms. Was that Jimmy Paige’s bow I heard in the mix?

The Bombastic Meatbats ‘More Meat’ CD reminds us that within all of this serious music it’s possible to have fun. Live, they’re fantastic. Check them out at the Baked Potato on January 11, where they play often. The Bombastic Meatbats will be headlining at two NAMM events this year in Anaheim on January 13 for QSC, and January 14 for Sabian.

Treat yourself to helping of ‘More Meat’ and listen to the Bombastic Meatbats’ meaty chops at: