The Mean Times second EP, Raw Prawn encapsulates not only raw seafood, but raw rock and roll, raw power, and raw emotion! It’s a rollicking 5-track adventure through indie rock, power pop, punk rock and soul. Gone are the everyday observations and anecdotes of previous releases and in are personal feelings and musings on approaching mid-life and having to adult. It’s teenage angst for people in the mid-late-30s. Whoa, heavy, man.
The Mean Times have appeared quiet over the past few years, but unbeknownst to many, the three core members (Eoin Clement, Tom Morgan and Rob Meerbach) have spent their time diligently honing their craft. Song writing has been the priority – writing, rewriting and starting again until they were all happy with the end product.
Musically the band has seen a shift from the synth power pop leanings of their debut EP, You’ve Got the Wrong Guys, towards a more mature sound introducing multi-layered guitars, horns and strings. The Mean Times pushed themselves during the making of Raw Prawn to finally find ‘their’ sound.
While the band did some recording at home, the EP was primarily engineered and mixed at Rolling Stock Studios in Melbourne by Nao Anzai (Cash Savage and The Last Drinks, NO ZU, Kim Salmon) and mastered by Mikey Young of Eddie Current Suppression Ring. It’s retained the garage punk feel of their live show, while adding a new level of depth, space and nuanced dynamics.
“Working with Nao was unreal. He’s a punk production genius. If he likes something he will nod with stifled sensei-like approval and it makes you feel like you’ve finally achieved something in your life. Otherwise he will sit back quietly until you really stuff up, then he tells you exactly where you went wrong and you feel bad that you let him down.”
– Tom Morgan (vocals/guitar)
Stylistically, The Mean Times sound now varies. They have no focus on a particular style, but instead always try to follow the songs to their logical conclusion. In saying that, Raw Prawn is like a rock record from the 90’s with some odd pieces and weirder moments thrown in. You might hear the softer, smooth clean guitars and piano lines of Slowdive; the heavy guitar riffs of Kyuss; the all-out filth, passion and relentlessness of Uniform; the raw punk energy and horns of The Saints; the softer filthy moments of Eels or Graham Coxton; and the subtle, melodic riffs and catchy hooks of Josh Homme or Arctic Monkeys.
It’s an aggressive, emotive, mixed bag of songs that for some reason are different, but still sound the same. Lo-fi at times, but not to the extent that it’s overwhelming. It’s raw yet polished; live yet not live; weird, yet digestible; punk yet pop. It’s real and concise. It’s definitely not on trend, but it’s The Mean Times and they’re only cool unto themselves. They write good songs for music lovers, not slow jams for pool party posers.
STREAM ‘RAW PRAWN’ HERE: http://bit.ly/TheMeanTimes_RawPrawnEP
5th April – Young Street Supper Club, Frankston (Melbourne)
6th April – Coburg RSL, Coburg (Melbourne)
12th April – Bombay Rock, Brunswick (Melbourne)
* EP Launch ( poster can be found here)