Hailing from Pittsburgh, Meeting of Important People is somewhat of a super group for the town. All three members have cut their teeth in the music scene as part of locally popular bands but now have come together for something new. After many years of trying to impress everyone else, they have finally made a record for just themselves. While the band’s debut, self-titled effort is far from groundbreaking, it does manage to carry a few highlights. The only real problems here are developmental. All the right elements are there, but they never seem to get off the ground.
Meeting… is a venture into what makes modern pop rock fun, taking cues from the Kinks to early decade Foo Fighters. It combines big catchy riffs with thoughtful lyrics, telling the stories of life in the always dramatic suburbs of their hometown. The rock made here is tried and true, a little thought provoking, but all around just enjoyable. It takes a couple tracks to get to the good stuff, and really, in the end, there are only a handful of songs that truly stand out. Whats left seems to be in limbo between filler and genuine moments, depending on who is listening. All in all, its a comfortable, fun rock record.
Claps kick off Brittney Lane Dont Care, a track about the apathetic youth who get trapped in their hometown. Its all character development with pop hooks and catchy, jumpy guitars. Hanky Church and List-Show continue on in the same vein, this time toning things down and focusing on more of a Scottish charm via Belle and Sebastian. The tracks are quaint with clap-along drumbeats and tambourines to boot. What’s more, the guitar solos never last too long, keeping it just the way Goldie Locks would have liked it.
The challenges of youth are further expressed on the college ballad One Oclock, a song about the relief felt at the end of a semesters final exams. Anthemic pianos and drums carry the song through its simple lyrics, as they express the freedom that only came at the end of the last exam. Its a bit childish, but for the right audience, it is perfectly relatable.
One of the few highlights on Meeting… comes from the all-too-short I Know Every Street In This Town. The track is another theme for those trapped in their hometown way past their expiration date. It starts with a melancholy, almost dismal intro and builds into a big rock finish, as the narrator comes to terms with his place in life. The end of the song comes all too quick, and another minute could really make it shine.
Sadly, this is what ends up happening with many of the best tracks. Great songs should never be hurried along, and this applies not only to the aforementioned track but also to the opening stint and the the Touch (remember that movie?)-inspired Pretzel Rod Blues (Riff Song). It’s here that the band really takes off for a balls-out surf rock charge that closes right at a point when something huge could happen. I still have no idea why they cut it off so soon, and its a damn shame.
Down in the Hollow calls out whispers of The Whos acoustic numbers and leads right into the apathetic Nothings Going On. Both are strong tracks that spend their time developing without actually finding themselves, although Nothing comes pretty close, but before youre ready, its all over. There’s so much potential for greatness here, but it’s cut short, never giving the tracks a chance.
For a debut, this record could’ve been so much more. Each song carries the glimmer of why we love a good pop rock album, but it’s only a tease. The possibilities seem endless with this Pittsburgh power trio, they just shouldnt be so hesitant to work past the two and a half minute mark. If they did, I would still be humming their tunes.
“Brittney Lane Don’t Care”
Meeting of Important People