Thursday, January 13, 2011

Arkarna - Fresh Meat (1997) Album Review

Fresh Meat album cover.
I remember being extremely disappointed when this record came out. And it was in the cusp of the late 90's post-grunge alternative rock era. The group was dubiously marketed as an electronic-tinged alternative rock band on MTV and I sought the record out in record stores expecting just that. Much to my disappointment.

"This isn't rock... This is freaking DISCO!" were my first thoughts upon hearing "House On Fire"- the first track. And what was left of my alt-rock illusions of the singles "Eat Me" and "So Little Time" quickly vanished- seeing them, for the first time, as electronic tracks with distorted guitars instead of rock tracks with a bit of electronics. The ensuing disillusion completely turned me off and the album was shelved. Goes to prove I really hated electronica back in the day.

A still from the "So Little Time" music video
I don't know what it is about age, but it was only recently that I was able to digest electronica without feeling nauseated. I began listening to deep-house, which to this day remains one of my go-to pleasures. Then I remembered this album. I still have the cassette, but I threw out my cassette player a long time ago. I was lucky enough to get this in digital form though. Trust me, this record is hard to find these days. Finding the band's 2nd album "The Family Album" is even worse. I believe it's extinct (internet-wise). (If you happen to have it, please send me a link). *EDIT* Found it. :)

Anyway, yes, I remembered this album and I finally gave it a proper listen. If you hate electronica, then this album might not be for you. Tracks I would recommend are obviously the hit singles "So Little Time", "Eat Me", and the less popular "House On Fire" and "Future(s) Overrated". "Block Capital" and "Born Yesterday Part1" are also worth mentioning (with the latter as my personal favorite). These songs are chock-full of moments - pretty much the same type of thing I talk about in other songs by other artists. I'm obsessed with these so-called "moments" and I'm equally obsessed with bands who frequently shell them out. I'd get into the details, but I'm afraid I'll only paint an inaccurate picture inside your head. It's best to just listen to the album. That is, again, if you can dig electronica.

My score:
8 out of 10

PS: Don't miss the hidden track- an acoustic version of "House On Fire" right at the end of "R U Ready".

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