The unique sound of meniskus is hard to classify. They have been labeled as Latin, European, House, Trance Rock, but none of these really pinpoint what their music sounds like. At times you can hear a mystic Middle Eastern influence, at other times hints of Ukrainian Punk and ancient ancestral harmonies. The only way to really understand is to see them perform live. Meniskus's live stage performance is what makes this band great. They have finally caught some of the live energy on their latest release 'LIVE at The Walnut Room' recorded in Denver, Colorado in early 2010.
The opening track 'Morocco' is drenched in the soft nylon strings of Venezuelan-born Bardusco's guitar and Eric Ostberg's howling violin. Cris Ryt builds the tempo on the drums until the song eventually erupts like an exploding volcano. This transitions smoothly in to the second song, 'The Equalizer'; a driving, strong riff built on the passionate moans of Ostberg's voice. Track three, Latina really reflects the true sound of meniskus. Ryt provides a tantric techno beat as Ostberg and Bardusco trade leads that lift the soaring strings from high down to crashing bass chords below. 'Again', is one of my new favorites, the march of the drums and shouts of Again providing the attitude of a punk song. 'Sheik Don't Mind' is another reflection of the way these three band members play so well together. The feeling and emotions of each person combine in such a way that the song can sound different from night to night. Their world trance classification can be explained by the next track called 'Nightly Erotic'. It flows like the silken dress of a Persian belly dancer as she dances across the floor. If ska is polka, and polka is punk, then 'The Partyer' is fun as funk. This is a song for everyone; I could easily see it get plenty of air play on KBCO. 'Brigade' is the anthem of this CD, it reminds me of the strong messages sung by U2 in the 80s. 'Combo' is another quick moving song built on forceful emotions and played as fast as a speeding train; by far my favorite song on the CD. Last is a bonus studio track called 'Greed'. If this song is any indication of where meniskus is taking their music, we have lots to look forward to from this band in the future.
This band has perfected their skills from years on the road and polished their sound by days spent in the booths of Coupe Studios. It’s good to know the energy of their live shows has finally been captured on their CD.