|Release Date:||27th of March, 2021|
|Released via||lala Schallplatten|
|Cover Artwork ©||Meijar, 2021|
This time, I really have to admit that I was a bit baffled when I received promo in the format of vinyl. We are still new, we still don’t receive a lot of physical promo and we definitely do not receive vinyl only for the purpose of being reviewed. Hence, this convinced me right away that I at least need to write about it. Listening into the music confirmed my initial thought that what I was holding in my hand was going to be music I wouldn’t be writing about without the promo – only because I primarily wander about in different genres currently. Nostalgia kicked in big time, though, which was why the sound I heard also had me hooked in order to dive deeper into this release.
We’re talking about Meijar’s self-titled full-length debut. Meijar is a four-piece combo from Dresden, Germany who state that the music they play can vaguely be called Post-Hardcore with elements of Grunge. I’d only partly agree with that statement, because I think that there are a lot more influences taking place in this music. Hence, the first positive aspect about this release already comes with the first explanation, this is music that is extremely difficult to grasp. Although some listeners might agree with the fact that this is Post-Hardcore, others might already come up with the objection that this genre term is fuzzier than the transparency of German lobbyism regulations. Prepare yourself for music that doesn’t seem to be interested in rooting for any particular genre at all while still reminding you of all your favorite Post-Hardcore bands at the same time.
If bands manage to showcase influences from different genres that also remind you of certain bands, I quickly start paying attention. If a band, however, succeeds tossing sounds reminiscent of numerous bands from different genres into one big cauldron, wildly stirring the ingredients and eventually emerging with music that does not feel derivative at any spot, we are somewhere else. I am no fan of name dropping for reviews at all, but the fact that name dropping seems to be the first thing to do when listening into this album yet remaining probably the most difficult explanation at the same time, this coins an aspect that needs to be mentioned.
When the album opens up with “Polygraph,” certain Screamo bands come to your mind – especially German-speaking representatives – and you end up naming Fjørt or Marathonmann. However, on this first track already it only needs sequences towards the chorus for Meijar to take a U-turn and crash right into a very characteristic Grunge sound that reminds of Citizen or Basement on Colourmeinkindness. After this track, there are sequences that showcase a clear emphasis of Hardcore Punk elements as well as cleaner and more melodic Grunge passages that might have you think of Balanace and Composure. On the very same track, though, it seems as if there is a short Nu Metal sequence as well just somewhere right in the middle, subsequently jumping back into the “regular” track after having seasoned it with some new energy. More influences are yet to come stemming from other Post-Hardcore representatives as well as Shoegaze and Post-Hardcore / Metal hybrid passages.
In order to explain how these switches occur, it seems to be more important to highlight the versatility of the instruments. First of all, the guitars seem to be able to jump in between different styles with no effort at all opening up the question if there even is a “basis” they “come back to” or if they just accomplish playing whatever they want to sound like. Including styles such as the beautifully harmonic Touché Amoré guitars as well as the warm guitar tone that reminds of La Dispute, some sequences are also reminiscent of Defeater or even more classy 80s Hardcore representatives once you crash into a more straightforward Hardcore sound. On “Reficige,” the track begins with a sound that very distinctively carries the vibe of a Shoegaze track and Deafheaven popped up in my head – to be honest I wasn’t even able to follow writing down all the bands that popped up in my head while listening – damn!
The drums are nothing different from what I already described about the guitars, since they also play a key role managing the wildfire of genre switching (or rather blending) on the entire album. The speed changes audibly influence the sound, especially when moving between beautifully harmonic and powerful Hardcore sequences. Similar to the guitars, the slower parts of the tracks also feel very unconventional on the drums and thus again feel reminiscent of La Dispute, who also manage to include exceptional drum patterns in their tracks. Apart from that you even have brief blast beat sequences as on the bridge of “Fixpunkt” when switching from clean vocals to shouting – you’ve got everything here just take a closer look.
It is probably self-explanatory that in order to convey such a strict blending of different genres, it is necessary that all separate instruments are capable to adapt to whatever style is played at the moment. Thus, this also counts for the vocals that also easily manage to immerse in all the sounds the instruments construct on this album. The vocal style ranges from harsh and wild Screamo shouts over “more regular” Hardcore vocals in combination with extremely fitting (but different-than-usual-sounding) gang shouts, to melancholic and harmonic clean singing on “Fixpunkt” and “Mauerwerk”. The gang shouts at the end of “Heem” are so damn intense and fulfill the entire track brillantly, everything is at the exact correct spot. I think that especially the immense capability of all musicians being able to dive into different genre styles while still maintaining a distinctive personal character constitutes the fact that this bands sounds like all of your favorite bands at once while still sounding like Meijar at the same time.
The album can be purchased on vinyl at lala Schallplatten, which is a no-brainer regarding the fact that this format is absolutely fitting for the music it contains.
It is a damn pity that this release would have slipped my attention when not having received the promo, which means that this band deserves way more attention than it already receives. If you are into Post-Hardcore yet somewhen felt a little overfed due to the large selection of new bands popping up everywhere (although I think this phase is over right now) – make sure to listen into this debut release by Meijar and stay tuned for future output!
Fuck me, this came out of nowhere and hit right in the feels.
10 / 10