The Mean Times - Evelyn Hotel
“The Mean Times create infectious, high-energy rock and roll with a let-loose-and-party attitude. Their sound is a pastiche of indie cool with sharp, scuzzy riffs and catchy pop choruses, all delivered with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a hell of a lot of swagger.” AMNplify
“Pairing swagger with style in equal measure—with a dash of raucous energy—The Mean Times make music that’s good for the soul and that’s always up for a party.”
Having been a presence in Melbourne's pub rock scene of the past six years, The Mean Times may have appeared quiet of recent times. Incorrect! In between backfilling positions – they’ve gone through eight different drummers among other things – The Mean Times' three core members (Eoin Clements, Rob Meerbach and Tom Morgan) have been diligently knuckling down to enhance their sound and improve their songwriting.
This culminated in 2018’s comeback single ‘Sober’- a catchy punk pop tale of sliding doors, intemperance, drinking to forget and a prawn. 2019 has since seen the release of the band's raucous new punk rock single, ‘Be Still My Bleeding Heart’, described by Triple J presenter Nkechi Anele as being ‘Rock AF; and by American blog YabYum as having “all the energy of a barroom brawl.”
Both singles were taken from The Mean Times’ second EP, 'Raw Prawn', released in March 2019.
This latest release is a rollicking 5-track adventure through indie rock, power pop, punk rock and soul. Musically the band has seen a shift from the synth power pop leanings of their debut EP, 2014’s 'You’ve Got the Wrong Guys', and the lazy indie meanderings of 2016’s standalone single 'Right Thing, Wrong Time', towards a more mature sound, introducing multi-layered guitars, horns and strings. 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.
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 rock feel of their live show, while adding a new level of depth, space and nuanced dynamics.
'Raw Prawn' has been busy getting a pile of positive press throughout the world, with pundits loving the encapsulation of raw seafood, raw rock and roll, raw power, and raw emotion. The EP and singles have garnered reviews and coverage from the likes of Tomatrax, AAA Backstage, Triple J Unearthed, What’s My Scene, and various other international blogs, while also having been picked up nationally on community radio and added to such Spotify playlists as ‘Good Intent Music’, ‘Rock List’ ‘Hoers.de’, ‘KROD Records’ and ‘Melbourne Sounds’.
Obviously children of the 90s, The Mean Times have taken the best bits of post-grunge power-pop, Brit-pop and Australia’s Triple J heroes of the same era, then thrown in a touch of old school rock and roll, to create their own brand of quirky, everyday-man’s rock. Their musical inspiration comes from the likes of You Am I, The Fauves, Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer, Regurgitator, Split Enz, Rolling Stones, Blur, Custard, Bad Dreems and Pavement.
Having played almost every venue in Melbourne, and many more beyond, The Mean Times deliver a raucous, high-energy, spirited live show that makes you smile. They're raw yet polished; weird, yet digestible; punk yet pop. The music and the men are real and concise. They write good songs for music lovers, not slow jams for pool party posers. They're definitely not on trend, but they're The Mean Times and they’re only cool unto themselves.
“Our new favorite band is here with new music and it comes as no surprise that it’s straight heat. We love the creative force behind The Mean Times’ sound and their vision has always been on point. We have a feeling this is just a small taste of what’s to come.”
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