Meekos & Me isn’t just another indie band with a string instrument. There’s something about the sound of this LA-based duo, featuring lead singer/guitarist Joey Colando and cellist Danny Grab, that sounds vaguely reminiscent of mid-90s, jammy pop/rock, something you might have heard on a college radio station back when that was actually a genre. “Grove Street,” the second track from their debut album, combines poppy acoustic guitar strumming with lyrical cello lines and a midtempo rock groove. An electric guitar pattern holds down the track, free of the indie obsession with lo-fi, effects-laden, post-rock guitars we’ve grown accustomed to hearing in rock bands.
Colando’s vocals are gentle without being raspy, full-voiced yet melodious. His accent occasionally betrays a laid back West Coast vibe, almost Jack Johnson-esque, as on “Animals in My Room”. “Underwater Dream” is a highlight, a slower ballad with a gentle guitar arpeggio, tasteful use of echo on Colando’s voice, and beautiful cello melodies in the instrument’s higher register. Soft electronic drums and studio-manipulated guitar sounds, provided by bassist and producer Joshua Rumer, round out the sound.
Many of these songs sound like they started as folk songs with guitar and cello, and only rocked out when Rumer adapted them for the studio release. Some of his choices are less successful: the acoustic bass and breezy drums on “Bags of Color” just doesn’t sound like anything musicians are writing today (think Dave Matthews Band’s “Crash”). This could be a good thing, an individuality that sets the band apart, but often it feels like unnatural genre mixing. The loping “Kid Things”, which closes with a surprising and anthemic electric guitar solo, is one of the album’s strongest moments, as Colando and Grab stick to their original instrumentation with accompaniment that complements, rather than overshadows, their sizeable efforts.