CHIN UP, MERIWETHER!
Bands are a dime a dozen, tight bands are a little rarer, and tight punk bands with good ideas are even rarer. Where are we going with all these uh, platitudes about tightness? That's a good, if rhetorical question. Well, when we listen to the long-awaited full length, debut Fruition, by Olympians via Missoula Chin Up, Meriwether!, we get fuckin' stoked. It's tight, it's punk, it's got good ideas and it's got unharnessed energy that's hard to deny. Chin Up! Meriwether started here in around 2006, in the basement of Missoula's anarcho curry house and bio diesel plant, the Lab. Steve played bass, Aaron, I think, drums. They ruled. They existed here for about 6 months. They put out a tape, wrote a poignant song about Missoula's nasty gay/freak-bashing bullshit culture, played a handful of sweaty, fun, full-on rollicking shows, and that was it. Peter moved to Oly, and Missoula's boom and bust DIY punk scene busted, for the moment.
Peter didn't wait long to find a new rhythm section and start kicking out more bitchin' jams. And now we've got this great document (Fruition LP, on Rumbletowne) of an amazing, fun, bouncy punk band. And while I always liked Chin Up! Meriwether, this iteration has spent more time playing, more time getting good at the songs, and more time honing their craft, so it's that much more incredible. And what exactly is it like? Singalongy, but not cheesy anthem singalongs, poppy, but wonderfully astute and good at crafting songs, not just punk with filed-down edges, and they've got a maniac of a bassist, whose tone makes me think of the Swing Ding Amigos, somehow. While it's hard to figure out how to discuss a band's politics, or err, agenda, without weighing down write-up Chin Up! Meriwether's always been good on content. They've got social commentary galore, and it's all of the personal politics nature, which I dig, and which is a lot more difficult to deliver that "fuck the governmnent/establishment/corporations" variety of content. Gay, ripping, and fun as a midnight game of capture the flag! Chin Up! Meriwether, ahoy!