Clem Snide – The Meat of Life

January 01, 1970



Clem Snide’s never had an easy go of it. Even
in their prime, the band suffered through a steady succession of membership
shake-ups and run-ins with their record labels, difficulties that eventually
led to an extensive hiatus prior to the release of their last album. As a
result, singer/songwriter Eef Barzelay continues to vent his angst
and uneasiness, and with this latest attempt, he plies that anxiety into a
series of hollow-eyed ruminations underscored by a distinct air of melancholia
and a sense of vacant yearning.


No surprise then that The
Meat of Life
boasts an uneasy aura; this is after all a band that named
itself after the William S. Burroughs novel “Naked Lunch,” and so to some
degree that unsettled circumstance is to be expected. Yet for all its weary
subterfuge, Clem Snide remains a tuneful pop band, whether they’re carousing
through the sprawling “I Got High,” riding on a tear with “BFF,” or echoing the
distant sadness of “Stoney.”  Enhanced
with supple, subtle instrumental touches, Barzelay and his compatriots exhibit
a craftman’s skill when it comes to fine-tuning these arrangements. So for all
its introspection and restlessness, The
Meat of Life
has a certain flourish that’s both rare and well done.


“Stoney.” “Walmart Parking Lot,” Denise” LEE ZIMMERMAN



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