Hell in a Handbasket3/5
Prejudice is a natural instinct, which can warn us of pitfalls, which we don’t need lofty reason to know are sometimes unfounded. Take this record. The title, and the fact it’s a self-produced ‘personal insight’ album by a 60-year-old reformed rocker, instantly sounds like a recipe for an adolescent blogger’s innane rants set to music. Lumpen, barely tumescent, amorphophallic music. On this occasion, though, we’re happy to have to confront our beloved prejudii and tape their mouths shut. To start with, it’s a very angry record. The lyrics are preoccupied with Meat’s thoughts of depression, past regrets and his musings on The State Of The World (spoiler: it’s bad). Recorded on a portable studio by Meat during his last tour, this LP is the antithesis of his lavish Jim Steinman masterpieces. It is also the antithesis of sanity – take ‘Mad Mad World/The Good God is a Woman and She Don’t Like Ugly’, which starts its humble life as a good ol’ Southern rock song, before Chuck D of Public Enemy pops in to rap about the vengeance of She-God. Many of Meat’s vocals were recorded as live, meaning there’s also a rawness to his bellows, which for once makes them affectingly human, rather than bovine. It’s unlikely to win Meat any new fans, and might even lose him a few and for that we salute it.