Album Review: Cheap Meat – People Are The Worst

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Cheap Meat

People Are The Worst - Jerk Store Records

London trio Cheap Meat are set to return with their debut full-length “People Are The Worst” that is set to be released on the 29th January via the band’s own imprint, Jerk Store Records. The album has, eventually, followed from on from “The Parts That Show” EP and the ‘Spin Offs‘ single that were both released back in 2016, the reason for the hiatus is a combination of priorities, mental health diagnosis in the case of two members, and starting and expanding a family in the case of the remaining member, the combination of these factors led to the band being placed on hiatus before making their return at the most tumultuous point in recent history. The specific context and themes of the record are also captured in the album’s artwork that depict “a series of micro-aggressions, all claustrophobically close together in a high-rise apartment block”.

People Are The Worst” is a timely album and the title is no mistake, social and political unrest on both sides of the Atlantic, the self harm of Brexit and obviously the deep scars left by the Trump regime, add to this the unpleasantness and division that has infected society since their debut EP was released all play their role. Given the album title, the subject matter and the band’s own personal issue you might be under the assumption this would be a dark and grating album leaning towards spiky post punk and rage against the corruption, greed and stupidity that has led to this point. Thats what you might expect, that isn’t what you get, “People Are The Worst” is not entirely misanthropic towards humanity, despite the bleak lyrical content and the times we live in, this is a surprisingly upbeat album.

Cheap Meat‘s debut full length is a mass of contradictions, one that pretty much reflects the attitude many have adopted. If there’s a positive it’s that the lockdown caused a spike in creativity and this album, like the never say die attitude of the DIY and independent scenes, reflects the defiance, optimism and positivity that is still present despite all the odds being stacked against us. This is a soundtrack that takes it’s cues from the turn of the millennium heyday of the pop punk and alt scenes, in particular there is a strong influence from the likes of Weezer, Motion City Soundtrack and Smashing Pumpkins. “People Are The Worst” manages to be perfectly in the moment whilst drawing inspiration from happier times, meaning that this is an album that reflects exactly where we are at the start of 2021.

People Are The Worst” can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp here