Category Archives: Reviews

LA Times name-check


Mecca Normal was name-checked in today’s LA Times review of Sleater-Kinney’s new album “No Cities to Love.”

“It’s Bikini Kill, the Slits, Beth Ditto, PJ Harvey, Mecca Normal, Meg White, Mish Way, Meredith Graves, a glorious continuum that’s more crucial to rock’s present and future than the collected work of U2, Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins combined.” – Randall Roberts


Pazz & Jop Poll


Mecca Normal’s new album “Empathy for the Evil” is #472 out of 1,529 in the 2014 Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll.

The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics.


PopMatters Q&A and video premiere of “Between Livermore and Tracy” which is where the Altamont Speedway is located and with an album tile like “Empathy for the Evil” you know there’s going to be at least a few Rolling Stones references.

pop matters

Review: Said the Gramophone

Adding commentary to “Odele’s Bath” seems like adding a campaign speech to a campaign speech, throwing a novel at a novel. This is a masterpiece of story and manifesto, a lesson in life; it doesn’t need me to scatter it with glitter. Shut the blog down, fire the staff, bin the servers. Light the house on fire, in an empty lot, with Mecca Normal on cassette and a boombox turned to high. — Sean Michaels, Said the Gramophone

Portland Mercury

“Of all the bands that emerged from the vibrant ’90s underground scene, the one that’s most unfairly glossed over is Mecca Normal. It’s likely something to do with the Canadian duo’s uncompromising sound: the slashing guitar chords of David Lester snapping at singer Jean Smith’s challenging feminist lyrics and fearless singing. It was blues music filtered through a punk prism. Twenty-plus years later, and the pair haven’t shifted their aesthetic in the least, only calmed it a little. Their most recent album, Empathy for the Evil, was recorded with former Bongwater founder Kramer, who adds a welcome psychedelic tinge that lends a strangely wistful quality to these often stirring political anthems. This show continues M’lady’s Record’s series of shows celebrating the Portland label’s seventh anniversary.” — Portland Mercury, July 16, 2014