29 January 2021
Brian Meacham – 7even Two One Hundred
My phone lit up with a text message simply saying, “check your email”. On doing so the subject field was populated with “have a listen and let me know what you think” and attached within was a file labelled Brian Meacham – 72100.
The mysterious sender is a living legend in the prog world and respected within the rock community and I am luckily enough to call him a colleague and a friend. What this man doesn’t know about prog isn’t worth knowing , his encyclopaedic knowledge is legendary. Now I am not averse to a bit of prog, but the sender knows my bent is more classic rock. Something was afoot.
The said file contained 12 tracks and a small bio about the artist. Going in blind I pressed play and let the speakers do the rest. 60 minutes later at the conclusion of the last track I did something I have not done in a very long time, I pressed play again.
Brian Meacham is a multi-instrumentalist, he grew up in the Midlands in the UK and during the 80’s and 90’s was in several local bands, namely Warning, Trappazat and Hostile. The latter I admit I haven’t heard of, Trappazat was however vaguely familiar and they recorded an album [From dusk till dawn] in the early 90’s, and Warning [Take no prisoners] likewise around the same time, these albums would be classed as NWoBHM/Classic Rock. Deciding that he needed a change he relocated to Crete 15 years ago and has made a successful business of doing a one man rock show in the pubs and clubs on the Greek island. However, pandemics by their very nature have tendencies to slow down the live music scene, so with free time available Meacham decided to record an album of original numbers which he solely wrote ,played all the instruments (programmed drums ) , sang and produced the whole bundle and called it 7even Two One hundred (72100) after his postcode.
My knowledge of multi-instrumentalists in rock is limited to the likes of Mike OIdfield, Tom Scholtz , Price Roger Nelson (70’s) , Dave Grohl (90’s) and Steven Wilson (2000’s), and most of these had assistance somewhere in the making of their records, and all have made exceptional music, and this is no different. The album opener It ends right now throws down the gauntlet and lights the pathway from which the rest of the record follows. A riff that can crack bones, a chorus that will give your toes cramp with tapping and a guitar solo straight out of the who’s who of rock. One more time is 80’s metal, I’ll see you there is more contemporary with sampling, scratching, early Maiden esq guitar sounds, talking over the track to produce an evolving and expanding glorious ending. The music keeps on coming in the same, well executed vain leaving no room for fillers or a duff tracks. There are two versions of You don’t know me anymore , the first is 4 minutes long, the extended ,90 second longer closes the collection and it this track that not only is the jewel in the crown , but is honestly one of , if not the best song I have heard in years .The vocals and guitar are reminiscent of My own Prison era Creed ,with Black Stone Cherry and Van Halen thrown in but all done with originality, it is as majestic as it is beautiful with that ever menacing heavy under tow. It’s a face melter. If any A lister band released this song today it would be heralded as an instant classic… because it is.
The more I listen to this album the more astonished I am of the skill and achievement of Brian Meacham and there are not enough superlatives in my vocabulary to express the talents of the man and how phenomenal this piece of work is. It is a one man masterclass which every rock fan needs to listen.
I sincerely hope that someone of influence will hear 72100 and give Brian Meacham that break that his talent deserves because, with all respect to the clubs in Crete there are far bigger venues in the world that this man could fill. The question now is which part of the podium will this record sit on at the end of the 2021 best album review?
7Even Two One hundred is released on 26th February via Amazon music /iTunes and brianmeacham.bandcamp.com on Dirty Old Rokker Records, initially as a digital download by CD format will be available.
Thanks to Steve Gould for the email.
Reviewed by Skid
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