Moving from solo bedroom pop to a four-piece band, the ever-shifting sound of ME REX has been one of the UK-DIY scene’s most intriguing stories of recent years. Overcoming the difficulties of not being able to play live, 2020 was still a break-out year for Myles McCabe and co, as via the double EP, Triceratops / Stegosaurus, they reached an ever-growing, and ever more adoring audience. Earlier this month, the band released their most ambitious offering to date, the 52-track album, Megabear. Inspired by a deck of cards, each track is between 30 seconds and a minute long and were all recorded at 120BPM, so they can be shuffled into any order and still flow as a cohesive, ever-changing record.
While undeniably a high-concept release, Megabear is also surprisingly coherent, perhaps a fusion of the twin ancient influences, tarot and alchemy, as Myles explains, “the album comes from the idea of using alchemy as a metaphor for the process of self-discovery or individuation…because that would lend itself to a prescribed order it was the logical next step to do it as cards instead“. Musically, Megabear is perhaps surprisingly, quite a varied affair, taking in moments of arena-worthy indie-rock like the wonderful Wandle, through to neo-classical inspired piano on Helium and the raving electro of The Party Eating Its Own Tale, with its wonderfully self-referential lyric, “these songs, are never really ending, even when it’s silent they will hang thick in the air”. A pick your own adventure in pop, even dreaming up Megabear is the work of a brilliant mind, yet making it work and making it a genuinely enjoyable listen, well that’s a stroke of absolute genius.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are ME REX?
We are Rich, Kathryn, Phoebe and Myles. We’ve been playing in various bands together (Happy Accidents, Fresh, Cheerbleederz) for the last few years.
Before becoming a full band ME REX had been a solo project for Myles. Last year we released 2 EPs with Big Scary Monsters.
This month we announced Megabear, an album that consists of 52 parts that all sync with each other. It’s intended to be shuffled to create one seamless piece of music that’s different on each listen.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show as a 4-piece was the Crywank 10 year anniversary at the Lexington. Crywank have been a big influence on ME REX and really supportive from the start. It was a lot of fun to be celebrating their ten years of being a band and a show I definitely would have been at regardless.
We’ll be back at the Lexington for the London date of our tour in November.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Songwriting as a mode of expression suits me better than most formats, there’s a lot of license granted in terms of coherence. People seem willing to fill in the blanks in a way that isn’t necessarily granted to prose or visual media. I like to work with that kind of indirect communication, Megabear particularly depends on what the listener brings to it.
FTR: What can people expect from the ME REX live show?
It’s hard to know what to expect from any show right now but it feels great to finally have something on the calendar.
In terms of what we’ll be bringing it’s a preselected section of Megabear that’s been dynamically arranged for live performance as well as a selection of tracks from the EPs and some as yet unheard songs.
FTR: What’s next for ME REX?
Megabear is up on streaming platforms now. We’re playing at Lattitude and End of the Road over the summer and have a UK tour planned for November around Stag and Dagger festival in Scotland.
They Listen To…
IDRchitecture – Rake It All In
Hamburger – Supersad
Rosie Tucker – For Sale: Ford Pinto
Tuuletar – Odotan
Highasakite – Heavenly Father