Whitehorse’s groove-rocking quartet Meat the Vegans has just released their first album, 100% Fat. With a raw punk-inspired sound and graphic artwork to match, it is definitely not Morrissey approved.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Mike Anderson, guitarist Simon Charles, bassist/vegetarian Alex MacKay and drummer Steve Jacobs, Meat the Vegans plays a combination of punk and heavy rock layered on top of danceable reggae.
They will be playing the Frog Mountain Music Festival on July 27.
The band started with Charles and Jacobs, who’ve played together for 10 years. Then MacKay joined, moving from a reggae sound with Rick Sward to groove-heavy bass lines.
“I was a hired gun,” he says. “I played music a long time ago. I lived in Whitehorse for a long time and I hadn’t been too active. I wanted to get back into it… there were a lot of people who needed a bass player, I said yes to everybody, (and) eventually met these guys.
“We got along well and we seemed to have similar interests in terms of style, and it kind of all got thrown together there.”
Anderson is known to Yukoners as the lead singer from Donkeysmell. After that band’s breakup, he moved to Victoria, playing and recording with Smoked Out Brainzzz and Beer a Tribute to Fear.
In Meat the Vegans, Anderson is the main lyricist.
“When we hang out in the jam room and we’re joking about, I’ll pick up on a line, I’ll steal it and incorporate it,” he says. “I don’t really write music based on my own experiences; for the most part I like to put myself in another person’s experiences.”
That’s good because the lyrics cover dark topics: prescription drug abuse (“Ritalin”), insanity (“The Crepe”), cults (“Tongue Rock” and “Glossolalia”), zombies (“Undead Shuffle”) and alien invasion (“Alien Tribee”). Real vegans might be horrified by “Chicken Cordon Blood Sack,”not to mention the interior artwork.
Anderson’s singing matches his subject matter: harsh, threatening, angry, and at times hysterical. He also uses synthesizer on several tracks, adding a layer of psychedelia and B-movie sound effects to the songs.
Backed by punk-ska guitars and beats, this music sounds more like Rancid or Sublime than Donkeysmell. 100% Fat is actually a lean album of heavy rocking dance music.
It’s never boring.
Meat the Vegans have just finished a whirlwind tour of British Columbia, which included a gig at the Garage Showroom in Duncan. That show is streaming on DuncanGarageShowRoom.ca/dgs-tv, with their performance starting roughly at the one-hour mark.
100% Fat is available at Triple J’s, at the band’s gigs or from any of the members. An EP of four songs from the album is currently available on iTunes, and the whole album should be available shortly.
Outstanding Tracks: “The Crepe,” “Incision Decision,” and “Into Pieces.”
The Frog Mountain Music Festival takes place on July 27 at the Circle D Ranch, 20 minutes north of Whitehorse along the Alaska Highway. For more information go to www.Facebook.com/pages/Frog-Mountain-Music-Festival