January 2015 National Music Reviews

Review: Mecca Normal – Empathy For the Evil

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Mecca Normal
Empathy For the Evil
M’lady’s Records
Street: 09.17.14
Mecca Normal = Sleater Kinney + Beat Happening – Bikini Kill

“Art was the Great Leveler,” according to Vancouver, Canada, indie veterans Mecca Normal. At least Jean Smith singspeaks in the opener of their new album, Empathy For the Evil, which as the title implies, is an intaglio of irony. You could imagine this band being parodied on Portlandia with a kind of feminist “Art School Confidential”–type topicality. But Mecca Normal, comprised of vocalist Smith and guitarist David Lester, has been together since 1984, releasing on K Records, Kill Rock Stars, Matador and Sub Pop. Plus, Smith is a painter and novelist, and Lester is a painter/graphic designer, so they have artistic chops and cred, even if some of their music comes off like that band made up of kids in art school. –Stakerized!

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