Meth Lab is the one-man folk-punk outfit of Logan Grant (not to be confused with the grind-core band of the same name). In Suburbia is Meth Lab’s first release and it’s a pretty ambitious release. But don’t get me wrong; this is not an album that’s trying to be appealing. If anything it’s attempting to be the opposite, yet this set of eighteen abrasive songs (five of which are labeled as improves) are full of catchy melodies, and surprisingly relatable lyrics.

This isn’t a one sided release though, keep that in mind. Grant’s ability to create songs that really sound punk without turning into fast paced folk songs is astounding.  Even though there’s nothing wrong with bands/artists that play that brand of folk music, but Grant definitely takes it a step farther, especially with his infectious pop-punk melodies and riffing guitar work. It makes the music more intriguing because the songs sound like they could be played by a full band, but they still manage to make their points through one acoustic guitar and one voice.

While the lyrics of “In Suburbia” aren’t exactly what anyone might call ‘A grade quality’ the imagery and stories depicted make just enough sense to hit home for those who can relate self-loathing, girl troubles, and the ever-looming figure that is our future. Also, we cannot plainly say that lyrics that don’t seem well thought out or even make perfect sense to us can’t be good (Ex. Henry Bemis Is A Superhero, Crywank etc.).

“In Suburbia” fights its way through roughly sixty-eight minutes of melodious screams and pounding percussive guitar playing and leaves me in an awkward state in between sadness and fearing what’s to come in my life, but it still somehow makes me optimistic and full of energy. Though there are some sloppy passages and songs that deserved another take, I give “In Suburbia” an eight out of ten. It’s no masterpiece, but it surely isn’t a mess either. I look forward to more releases from Meth Lab, and while I strongly believe in progression, I wouldn’t mind another album of this same caliber.


Wednesday August 14, 2013