Mean Creek provide listeners with a ‘Youth Companion’

Mean Creek actually appear quite nice. They are, from left, Mikey Holland, Chris Keene, Aurore Ounjian and Erik Wormwood.

Two can be a lucky number. Boston-based Mean Creek are releasing their second album, “Youth Companion,” and after a hometown release show and five-show CMJ blitz, the band embarks on their second 2012 stint opening for Counting Crows.

“We played a couple of venues with them that had 3,000 to 4,000 capacity, which were the biggest places we’d played,” says frontman Chris Keene. “We learned a lot of how to be a live band. We’re 10 times better as a live band since that tour.”

“Youth Companion” is a little two-sided, too: It’s thoughtful and anxious, has hints of careening classic rock as well as post-punk edge, and the title actually has two components. Youth is easily explained: the band’s ages run from about 27 to 32 and they’re leaving their wild youth behind — hence the first single, um, “Young and Wild.”

“A lot of the record is about growing up and about being a young person,” admits Keene. “But it’s also about how that affects you and stays with you into being an adult, and how you change when you become an adult.”

Which almost explains the ‘Companion’ part, or does it?

“This is kind of nerdy. That part was taken from a line in ‘Star Trek.’ The villain says something like, ‘Time is the fire in which we burn’ and [Captain Picard] says something like, ‘Time is a companion that guides you and we should cherish every moment.’” Keene giggles at such deep space deep stuff. “Yeah, ‘Star Trek’ really digs deep.” 

It can happen anywhere

Including opening for Counting Crows, Mean Creek’s New York City spree outplays its Boston shows six-to-one this month. It’s not urban favoritism, though. For Mean Creek, there’s no place like home.
“We don’t have any desire to move. We want to be a band from Boston, from where we grew up,” says Keene. “I don’t think location matters that much creatively. We just write about things that happen, like personal things. Those things can happen anywhere.”


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