Boston four-piece Mean Creek released the video for their single “Cool Town” way back in October of last year. It’s an ironic riff on Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” video, but it also serves as one hell of a mission statement for their latest full-length, Local Losers, an album that continues the band’s knack for capturing the reckless abandon of youth.
Of course, if you’re from Boston you already know about Mean Creek. They started as a two-piece in 2006 and have built up their sound over the course of four full-lengths and a paper trail of singles and EPs. Local Losers not only conjures up images of eternal summers through snappy, singalong jams, it very much has a sense of place—you almost feel like you’re running wild in the streets of Beantown, open container in hand.
It feels like every song on Local Losers is an anthem. Opener “Cool Town” sounds like a twist on Chuck Berry, with guitars and Chris Keene’s vocals reaching pell-mell quickly. The best songs, though are the ones where Keene is singing alongside Aurore Ounjian. “Night Running”—with its refrain, “If you made the right move”—and “Johnny Allen” (“I’m a first-rate fuck-up”) relay in simple terms the trials and errors of life. Even if you’re beyond the miserable 20s, you know exactly what they’re talking about.
Local Losers is Mean Creek’s most cohesive album. Style-wise they’ve settled into a frenetic jangle—full speed ahead. And at just eight songs, it doesn’t stray too far from the narrative. It’s frustrated, fucked-up and fun. We’ve all been there—here’s the soundtrack.