Completely embodying the ethos of Couch By Couchwest, Iowa’s Karen Meat understand the importance of carbohydrates as well as the quickness with which one can pass out after succumbing to the power of “Pizza & Beer” in their new video. A perfect song title for a Friday, don’t you think? The middle track from the band’s five-song debut EP, Karen Meat & the Computer, the sonic indifference of “Pizza & Beer” is best served cold.
Occasionally there are days when the floodgates open and all that you’ve managed to miss over the past few weeks swarms its way into the surging current. Today was one of those days. More than 30 great items materialized…The list of stunners in between included…Karen Meat & The Computer’s “Pizza & Beer“.
Karen Meat and her crew of Players and Computers provide the minimalist audio, and visuals for the “Pizza & Beer” video that involves a mess of PBRs, Miller Lites, Budweisers, and delivery pizza, and a predominately fixed camera on a tripod. The self-aware states of eating too much, and drinking too much are explained in a kind of honesty heard in the manner of west coast style indie girl rock that can be heard from the Southern California coasts, through the Bay Area circuits, and to the north left scenes of Seattle. The song on the surface has a catchy and funny mode while there is an autonomous statement that lies beneath the slacker-like minimalism. The law tables of attraction and affection are overturned with an autonomy mission that says ‘take me as I am’ in the lyrical, and conceptual subtext, heard loud and clear by the final tongue in cheek line,”I’ll get really thin, maybe you’ll like me then”.
With her twangy voice, witty and amusing lyrics akin to Courtney Barnett, and a catchy, melodic indie-pop-rock vibe, the EP is smile-inducing, fun, and completely unpretentious. It’s full of energy and just a blast…The addition of the omnichord – an instrument that we love – provides a welcoming texture.
David Murphy reviews Karen Meat & the Computer for Beats For The Soul on Des Moines Is Not Boring. He has this to say about Karen Meat & the Players‘ debut cassette, out on March 3rd on Red Nude Tapes:
Somewhere along the way though, Elizabeth Arynn went and vanished. Her brand of easy going pop not only disappeared, but she did as well. As it turns out, Elizabeth Arynn was maybe just a phase. The person behind her was a singer/songwriter/artist named Arin Eaton. Eaton decided to spin away from Drifter and into a new whiskey fueled Nashville cow-punk named Karen Meat. Suddenly, Karen Meat was playing these new songs about fights and food but also Elizabeth’s songs, only with a snarl and an edge and, quite frankly, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it because I thought it was bad (it wasn’t); I didn’t like it because I held Arynn so close to my heart and it seemed like she was long gone.
As my luck would have it, Arynn, Karen and Arin found a way to finally co-exist. And that wonderful co-existence is highlighted on Karen Meat and the Players new tape Karen Meat and the Computer. Karen Meat is still dominating, with her songs about junk food and overt blood metaphors, but you see the glimpses of pop sensibilities that made Drifter such a darling album for me…So let’s all raise our mason jars and flasks and cheap beers for a toast. Elizabeth Arynn is dead; long live Karen Meat.
“Their debut EP—a 5-song compilation that perfectly pulls together vocalist Arin Eaton’s frolicking drawl and the trademark sound of Eaton’s “Players”…the only way to describe the result is, well, catchy.”
For an album that contains songs that are mostly about pizza, beer, and dysfunctional relationships, Karen Meat’s latest offering, ‘Karen Meat & The Computer,’ is utterly and unrelentingly adorable. In the span of just five tracks, from three different songwriters, they manage to articulate a unified theme and a fresh, challenging take on the world that is vexingly rooted in both the kitschy and the macabre. Somehow it is both cute and gritty, exhibiting pop sensibilities in equal measure to it’s hooligan nature.
Read the rest of the review at DSM Shows and pre-order the cassette or pick it up in Des Moines at Vaudeville Mews on Friday, February 27th.