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Dead Meadow - Old Growth

  by Andrew Carver

published: 12 / 2 / 2008

Dead Meadow - Old Growth
Label: Matador Records
Format: CD


Rewarding latest slbum from 60's and 70's psychedelic-influenced act, Dead Meadow

Dead Meadow has been one of the prime purveyors of woozy psych music since their debut emerged on Tolotta records in 2001. Their first album for Matador, ‘Shivering King’ deserves a place in the hearts and CD racks of any fan of 60's and 70's-influenced psychedelica – so expectations have been high. Unfortunately, their latest album has been greeted with middling praise - a shame, because there’s a lot in ‘Old Growth’ that rewards closer listening. It’s true that the stoner-doom DNA in Dead Meadow’s latest offspring is noticeably less present on ‘Old Growth’. The tripped-out wah abuse and Land-of-Nod vocals that gave the band its distinctive flavour are there to delight anew, but the songs seem a bit shorter, and the reverb on singer Chris Simon’s vocals has been turned down a few notches. Throw in a couple of acoustic tunes – ‘Down Here’ is the first offender - and it’s noticeably less druggy than previous work. The reduced dose of eeriness and black light, black room weirdness will probably turn off a few of the band’s more ‘turned on’ fans, but there’s still enough of a kick in tunes like the relentless ‘Till Kingdom Come’ to kill all the right brain cells. Where the band’s debut was aimed at Black Sabbath worshippers, ‘Old Growth’ will probably strike nearer the hearts of those folks who can’t stop playing The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s ‘Methodrone’. Fans probably won’t be playing ‘Old Growth’ as much as ‘Shivering King’, but the band’s evolution has its interesting points – dig the Eastern percussion on ‘Seven Seers’. And, hey, if you need an album to smoke dope to there’s always Black Mountain’s latest.

Track Listing:-
1 Ain't Got Nothing (To Go Wrong)
2 Between Me And The Ground
3 What Needs Must Be
4 Down Here
5 'Till Kingdom Come
6 I'm Gone
7 Seven Seers
8 The Great Deceiver
9 The Queen Of All Returns
10 Keep On Walking
11 Hard People/Hard Times
12 Either Way

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