Riddled with set backs and a two year wait for its release, ‘People Are The Worst’ had a turbulent upbringing. Yet, regardless of its conception, the debut full-length from London’s Cheap Meat marries timeless sonics and hefty hooks with ease.
Sounding like the bastard child of The Pixies, ‘Spoons And Other Cutlery’ employs chunky guitars, winding leads, bouncing bass lines, and a razor sharp approach to structure to kick the record off in spectacular fashion. Mixing punk, rock, and power pop into a melting pot, Cheap Meat deliver on the anticipation for ‘People Are The Worst’ in less than three minutes.
Leaning into the power pop side of things, vocalist Ross Drummond croons throughout ‘Pretzels & Poptarts’ with ease. With a bouncing backbone and a barrage of hooks behind it, the track segues perfectly from its predecessor and the lush ‘Eddie And Valerie’. With a sing-along chorus and an unorthodox guitar solo, ‘Eddie And Valerie’ continues to push the record forward.
Whilst comparisons to bands such as Weezer can be found on ‘Lush and That’s All’ and ‘Marigold Moon’, the strength of the song writing on display and the skewered approach to melody helps Cheap Meat make it their own.
Following up from the laconic and spinning ‘Blasé’, ‘A Pop Of Bubblegum’ flies in with reckless abandon. Pushing and pulling around stop-start riffs, thick choruses, and hammered drums, the track yearns for a live setting. Tapping into sing-along hooks and buoyant energy simultaneously, ‘A Pop Of Bubblegum’ serves as a late highlight.
Closing a snappy record with a seven minute epic, ‘Love Song Reject’ embraces the underlying influences of Cheap Meat without deviating too far from their core sound. Complete with squealing guitar solos, acoustic guitar forays, and key changes, the album’s finale enhances the trio’s sound without losing sight of the overall picture.
A breathless listen, ‘People Are The Worst’ sees Cheap Meat delivering power pop at full throttle. Whilst some of the lyricism may falter, the stadium ready hooks overshadow the misfires.