Millions of Americans embraced Coldplay’s weepy mush-pop. That’s fine; there’s a place for trite pianos, and it’s called Banana Republic. In the real world America still crushes on the basics — electric guitars, fireballs, thumping cowbells and sex in bucket seats — and Ash has been bringing those for years. Not that we ever noticed. Maybe it’s the latent Bush factor, but put “Irish” or “English” in front of “guitar band,” and scared Yanks retreat to their Foo Fighters records. Meltdown wants to change that. Tim Wheeler’s songs revel in open hi-hat moments and wah-pedal fury, and the album art features a screaming chicken on fire, the better to love your Trans Am with. Foo and Velvet Revolver producer Nick Raskulinecz thickens the guitars to danger levels on the title track and “Clones,” while “Orpheus” and “Out of the Blue” link that thickness to harmonies from Wheeler and secret-weapon guitarist Charlotte Hatherley. “Detonator” summarizes the album’s approach: “High explosive girl you turn me on,” Wheeler sings. “So volatile like a walking
atom bomb.” The lyrics? Preposterous. The solos? Faux metal. But in the background a cowbell clangs, and suddenly you realize Meltdown’s entering the jurisdiction of American wankers — it’s rocking.
Sunday, April 10, at the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-9700) with the Bravery and Alaska!
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].