I’ve spent my day cleaning the crap out of my house. I mean, I cleaned like there was no tomorrow. I can only attribute this burst of energy and drive to finally getting to a show last night. Regardless of what made me do it, I’m feeling great and motivated so now seemed like a good time to dig into my stack of albums to review and pull a random one out. ‘The Meds You Deserve’ from New York based Taking Meds was the lucky winner so I sat back at my desk and hit play ready for whatever else this beautiful day was going to bring my way.
The EP kicks off with “Sucks To Be Me” and I was instantly in love as the sound flooded my house. Thrashy and in your face but with pop-punk vocals that bridged into a post-punk and math rock feel had me sold. Intense but not too much, the aggression in this track was perfect and brought a smile to my face. Driving drums power through this opening track that lasts just around two minutes. The lyrics spoke to me. “Thinking about my married friends, it sucks to be me.” Although these come off as a form of self pity, that’s not the way the track comes off and I loved it so much.
The EP wasted no time before jumping into “Unplug” that starts with a quick guitar diddy before those driving drums come back in with distorted vocals. I found this track to be extremely interesting musically. Whereas the first track seemed a little predictable as far as structure went, this song delves into the math rock vibe that you can hear throughout the opening track but seems to expand on it. The intensity and passion that comes through the vocals gave me strong Le Dispute vibes but the vocal stylings and those smashing drums made sure I knew that this was Taking Meds. Faint oh’s and ah’s in the background add a special touch of magic to this track that had the hair on my arms standing straight up.
“Hall Pass” has a bit of a politic tinge to it when you read the lyrics which is just another selling point for me when it comes to Taking Meds. This track felt a little less in your face but there was still no lack of passion. The vocals did a 10 to a completely different feel. Almost early 2000’s emo pop-punk like Armor for Sleep or Hidden in Plain View, I loved the odd simplicity of this track. “Hall Pass” is a good example of the versatility of this band and it made me super excited to see what the next track, “Roll Back Down”, would bring me.
An infectious drum beat kicks “Roll Back Down” off in a perfect way before strumming guitars take over and, eventually, the lyrics come in. The build of all of these things never actually come to a peak but that’s the genius in this song and, well, this band in general. Although they have sounds that you can easily trace back to various influences, they take all of the rules that those influences had laid out and throw them out the window. The rises and falls happen organically instead of when they are supposed to happen creating a sound that is unlike any other band out there. Intricate patterns from the drums and guitars pop in and out like little sparks of light where they please creating surprises that you aren’t quite ready for but, when they hit, you can’t help but sit back and just nod in aggrement with their placement.
Closing out this quick EP is “Somebody Particular” which was easily my favorite song on this quick five song EP. The song is wordy but there’s intent behind every word. The vibe gets a little more light-hearted for this track that has this odd 90’s feeling. Think Third Eye Blind meets Lit but with the intensity of a sludgier grunge band in the background. Again, just when you think you have this band pegged, they switch things up and bring something that you can’t quite put your finger on.
My only complaint about ‘The Meds You Deserve’ is how quickly it’s over after hitting play. Thankfully, Taking Meds has a few other releases out so I plan on diving into them as I figure out what the heck to make for dinner. What a great band with a great sound for a great day.
My Favorite Track(s): “Somebody Particular”
For Fans Of: Pop-punk meets post-punk; Unpredictable songwriting; Passion and energy
Dance-ability: 5.7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie screamed from the food dish; Autumn slept in the sun
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9.2 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Check Out Taking Meds Here:
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