Boston’s Mean Creek are some of my favorite people in music… and not just because they’re named after one of the better films of the past ten years… I first met them in February of 2010, during a horrific snowstorm that had snow piled four feet high on every corner of the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. At the time, they were a sort of epic Americana-inspired rock band, supporting their sophomore effort, The Sky (Or the Underground). Shortly thereafter, they went on to record Hemophiliac, a four song EP produced by John Agnello (best known for his work with acts like Dinosaur Jr. and Screaming Trees.) By that point they’d adopted a sound that would seem to find them at home on the soundtrack of My So-Called Life (A designation I’ve been giving to many contemporary acts as of recently… which is a good thing, in my book…) This aesthetic gained the band a lot of critical acclaim as being likely the best band in Boston… which I don’t think is untrue.
The last time I saw Mean Creek was summer of 2012. They were on tour, playing the TLA as support for ‘90s “alt rockers” Our Lady Peace. At the time they were promoting the upcoming release of their third LP, Youth Companion, which continued in this direction. However, they’re about to release their third LP, Local Losers, April 8th on Old Flame Records and this album has them embracing their punkest sounds yet. I recently got a chance to catch up with vocalist/guitarist/founding member Chris Keene for the first time in a year and a half. I ask him what Mean Creek has been up to since I last saw them and how they’ve evolved since I’ve met them four years ago and he confirms that the band has been through quite an evolution.
“We put a record out, went on tour with Counting Crows – that was pretty cool – and after that we just started writing. We spent last year writing and recording, it kind of flew by. Our new album is much more of a punk album. We’re writing very different music than we were in 2010. We cut the fat and said what we had to say as quickly as possible. All the songs are under three minutes. The things that currently inspire us were the things we grew up with, learning to play music; things like the Replacements, Green Day, The Descendents; and just getting back in-touch with the idea of being young and just starting out and everything being really exciting and new. We’ve been evolving as a band. We’re really excited to get this album out and tour as much as possible and hopefully people like it. My biggest hope is that our new album gets heard by as many people as possible. We’ve never really gotten a lot of airplay on a widespread level and I’m hoping that people who’ve never heard us before get to hear these songs.”