I remember The Meeting Places‘ albums at the start of the new MIllenium, the debut “Find Yourself Along the Way” in 2003 and the sophomore “Numbered Days” 3 years later, both on my buying list, albeit unfortunately both through the CD only label Words On Music, a format, especially for rock music, I always avoided.
Having a shared interest in bands like Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine and Ride, The Meeting Places started in Los Angeles in 2001, developing a cosmic, powerful yet expansive shoegaze sound laced with Mazzy Star-like sunburned folk hues, around Scott McDonald intense and evocative guitar work, Dean Yoshihara and Arthur Chan solid rhythm section and Chase Harris soothing vocals.
After a decade hiatus, along the necessary remastered vinyl edition reissues of their two albums, the original line-up is back with a brand new 4-track EP entitled “You and I” via Texas-based Saint Marie Records, previewed by the visuals for the title track.
Cicada-like hisses swell into an intrusively overbearing siren effect that distorts and suffocates the instruments resulting in faint, murmuring basslines amid limp, emotionlessly somber drumbeats with weak, dry, soulless guitar strums and detached distant vocals filled with shock and disillusionment shifting to a focused rally to make sense of the senseless as deep and daring basslines throb and pulse with clashing high hats and strong soaring gauzy guitar distortions piercing the dark drone dissonance to create an ambience of steadfast hope and possibilities.
An inspirational song finds strength from tragedy and reminds us its never too late to stop fighting, ever. A fatal accident shakes a man out of a lifelong slumber inciting him to openly declare the nefarious plan using distractions and escapism to numb, silence, and castrate members of society into manageable submission leaving them unconcerned and unable to question the power. The story of “You and I” explores governmental oppression and suffocation placed on humanity to maintain control over all of its resources and reminds us we are not just spectators but players.
A powerfully moving black and white short film brings lyrics to a riveting context with a mysterious beginning shrouded in disconnected thoughts and imagery, overexposed manipulated lighting, and melting scene overlays set against the backdrop of a wickedly clever atmosphere instilling a disturbing foreshadowing evoking impending doom laced with gut-wrenching fear. Submerged instrumentation muffled by deafening drone alarm blends with surreal lighting to blur space and dimension as the subversive shadows spawn dimensional dissection upon the solid matter allowing a deeply disturbing accident to be revealed through a series of obscure exposures and skewed angle techniques.
An intense ride from isolated darkness to a burst of triumph blasting through the spectrum of emotions at lightning speed. A dramatic, engaging, and soul-stirring amalgamation of curious lysergic sound and amorphous vision conquered.
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