ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Metermaids - Street Poets and Verbal Terrorists

It's not often that I get the chance to listen to new music... music that hasn't already made the rounds and blasts from radios worldwide. Music that isn't Lady Gaga or Justin Beiber or from Glee or lip-synched from some American Idol alum.

It's a tough thing, especially when you don't know what you want. We have to count on others a lot of times to let us know what's going on in the scene and to show us some alternatives to the same old same old.

I was on Beatpick a few months ago listening to some samples for a project when I ran across these guys. Two White MCs with a mixture of hard rock, rockabilly, garage rock (QOTSA guitar sound), gospel and hip hop who slam their words to the ground. I listened to samples of all of their tracks, then went over and bought a digital album of Smash Smash Bang Bang. With songs line Planes Down, Black Out Baby, and the raccuous Shades Off, it's no wonder these guys are soaring in popularity.

Black Out Baby is a perfect example of why I like them. Steve Juon at www.rapreviews.com says it like this: "Blackout Baby" sums up their musical style quite well - energetic, a little bit angry, provocative and tailor made to get you up on your feet slam dancing to their beats.

Planes Down is also one of my favorites. A song about verbal terrorism, it makes me want to throw my finger guns in the air and open fire on the world. With anti-rich kid and rebellious lyrics, pointed out by Chris Soriano in his review of Metermaids Album Smash Smash Bang Bang over at Potholes in My Blog, Planes Down is the grindingest of the album's songs.

Put your fingers in the sky like BANG
Shoot all the planes down
Shoot all the planes down
Shoot all the planes down

It's the real thing, its the live ammo
Carve the message with a key in the side panel
Its a waste land, it's a salt flat
Burn it all down now, paint it all black 

You can hear this song here, or see it performed even faster live at Arlene's Grocery.
(You really got to hear the energy in this song.)

So who are these guys? They're two NYC MCs named Swell and Sentence. As Steve Juon shares the list of the "diverse range of (Metermaids) influences - Otis Redding, Modest Mouse, Stevie Wonder and The Roots among others."

Chris Coplan adds over at Consequence of Sound that "It’d be unfair to call these guys a rap-rock group. They’re a rap group with rock tendencies. Musically, it’s all crunchy, rhythmic guitars and plenty of banging drums that play out like some countrified blues rock, ala a less-garage-rock-enthusiast version of the White Stripes. Attitude wise, they’re a couple of white guys who confront listeners with the energy of frat boys, but mixed with the depth and sincerity of a couple of street poets."

And they are street poets. Their slow anthem Matchbook is a metaphor for reminiscence and rebirth, capturing a keen understanding that what happened doesn't necessarily have to be owned, but can be set free, and burned like a match, celebrated, then forgotten. I like that sentiment. It fits with my own philosophy.

This morning's cigarette tasted like last night.
And last night like the one before.
I made my bed in the morning when I woke up.
I picked my clothes up off the floor.
I rode the train like a ghost in the graveyard.
I walked the streets like a criminal's son.
I pulled my hat real low.
I had apologies for everyone. 
From Matchbook (Listen to it for free here)

I'm eager to watch and listen to their success. These guys bring an energy that does more than get my head nodding, it sets my spirit thumping. I've been listening to them every day now for a month and I'm still not tired of them. For me, at least, the Metermaids are now part of my mix.

Here you can download some Metermaid Remixes for Free.

For all you heavy metal zombie freaks out there, this one will make you happy.
Use it as a soundtrack for reading.


  1. I heard these guys for the first time last summer, and they became instant favorites. You pinned down their sound better than I've been able to - Great post!

    If you haven't yet, you have to hear their collaborations on Kats & Domer's freeicecream.net - Pixies Thump is fantastic!

  2. I saw the Metermaids in Philly a few years back, bought a CD and I have been following their rise ever since. Listen to them just about everyday. Without a doubt one of my favorites!!

  3. Pixies Thump. Gonna find it.

    I listen to them every day. I feel very fortunate to follow them before they hit it big...which they will.

  4. http://freeicecream.net/music/index.php?n=17 - Metermaids w/ Kats & Domer over Pixies.