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Dead Meadow - Dead Meadow

  by Richard Lewis

published: 30 / 6 / 2013

Dead Meadow - Dead Meadow
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


Richard Lewis reflects on much acclaimed Washington DC psychedelic/stoner rockers Dead Meadow's 2000 eponymous debut album, which has just been reissued

With the band’s sixth LP, the bizarrely titled ‘Warble Womb’ being readied for release, a timely reissue of the eponymous debut by DC psychedelic/stoner rockers Dead Meadow demonstrates what all the fuss continues to be about. Originally issued in 2000 on Tolotta Records, which was founded by Fugazi bassist Joe Lally, the redux version is being handled by indie set-up Xemu and Cargo in the UK. Truly under the radar upon its appearance, in an era when rock music was so dire people almost began to take Marilyn Manson seriously, Dead Meadow’s live reputation and the exposure gained through album opener ‘Sleepy Silver Door’ being featured on ‘The Wire’ (‘Meadow leader Jason is the nephew of show creator David Simon), has seen the group’s popularity slowly blossom. Recorded for a few hundred dollars in the band’s rehearsal room, the straight ahead, almost live production plays to the band’s strengths, the trio creating rolling, mesmeric vistas of sound from the simplest bass riffs and spare guitar motifs. The band's arranging skills (which juxtapose atmospheric material like the concise ‘Dragonfly’ alongside XL riff monsters like ‘Lady’ and album closer ‘Rocky Mountain High’) and Simon’s nasal but tuneful vocals set the group apart from scores of other prog/garage practitioners. The heat-hazed ‘Greensky Greenlake’, which is built around a squelching wah-wah pedal riff and low-lying synth murmur, provides ample proof of the breadth of the band’s ambition, as it welds together prog and psychedelia together whilst avoiding slipping into over-indulgence. The centrepiece of the LP, planet-sized epic ‘Beyond the Fields We Know’, meanders into territories originally charted by mid-period Floyd and Led Zeppelin in their more expansive moments, the nine and a half minutes underpinned by Steve Kille’s brilliantly inventive bass playing. Penultimate track ‘At The Edge of the Wood’, a three-minute acoustic interlude provides a welcome counterpoint away from the heaviness found elsewhere, indicative of the unplugged moments that cropped up on the band’s subsequent albums. With half a decade passed since the release of ‘Old Growth’, the present offering is an excellent introduction for those unaccustomed to the group’s charms, setting the scene for their next instalment, due later this year.

Track Listing:-

Band Links:-

Picture Gallery:-
Dead Meadow - Dead Meadow

Dead Meadow - Dead Meadow

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live reviews

Firebug, Leicester, 2/10/2013
Dead Meadow - Firebug, Leicester, 2/10/2013
Anthony Strutt is excited by American three-piece Dead Meadow's psychedelic blues in a deafening show at the Firebug in Leicester
Babylon, Ottawa, 3/7/2004



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Warble Womb (2013)
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