Schizophrenic Brooklyn grindcore troupe Meek Is Murder bounce riffs with the comic, stop-on-a-dime changes of a Carl Stalling cartoon score. Manic, unpredictable, and even a little bit jovial, they’re a colorful headfuck, but they certainly don’t sacrifice brutality in the name of fun. Originally the solo project of ex-Red Chord guitarist Mike Keller, the band has recently fleshed out into a formidable trio (rounded out by bassist Sam Brodsky and drummer Frank Godla) for the 19-minute blast-off Algorithms, due March 22 via esteemed New York blog Metal Sucks. Keller is an iPhone app developer by day (“or by very late night, as it were”), and his head for coding surely steers the mathier bits of Algorithms, but it also informs the lacerated-throat lyrics about what Keller calls “life and computer science.” Of any song here, “Hope Springs Eternal (Spaghetti Code)” best captures all the band’s strengths in a mere 85 seconds, blitzing between carpal-tunnel grind blur, dizzying math-metal calculus, cliffhanger feedback breaks, a doomy mosh breakdown, and even a shimmering climax of analog jet-engine jazz.
What is this song about?
This is a song about losing perspective. Getting so caught up the moment that you lose vision on the bigger picture. Spaghetti code is the result of haphazard code organization; when your code structure becomes so tangled, the meaning of a function is difficult to interpret by anyone other than the programmer.
What inspired it musically?
This was the first song written for Algorithms after about a year and a half of Meek inactivity. I had been touring relentlessly with the Red Chord for the 16 months prior, and we were currently knee-deep in the Mayhem Festival. Music festivals can be fun for a day, but being in that setting for an entire summer is, well . . . interesting.
Tell me about what noise breakdowns in songs like this mean to you. How do you create them?
Writing this song was unique in that it was the only song on Algorithms I demoed with programmed drums. That was mostly due to being on tour at the time, but I think it lends to the chaos of the drum parts — Frank hated me when he was learning this song. The noise at the end of the album version features a very weird, very homemade synthesizer that Sam made that we all dubbed “The Internet” during recording. We made a YouTube video about it, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.
What is your favorite thing about your iPhone-app-developer day job?
I can do it anywhere — on the road, at a coffee shop, at home. I don’t have a boss, and I don’t even have to wear pants if I don’t want.
What’s your favorite iPhone app?
Why, the official Meek Is Murder iPhone app, available now on the App Store for free, duh! Plants vs. Zombies is pretty sweet too, though.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
We go to Bushwick Pita Palace after almost every band practice. Believe it or not, they have excellent Mexican food! They have a badass veggie burrito we’re all pretty keen on. Never tried their pitas though.
Meek Is Murder’s record release show is March 24 at Union Pool with Wizardry and East of the Wall