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Dead Meadow - Feathers CD (album) cover


Dead Meadow


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.69 | 16 ratings

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4 stars Dead Meadow continue to ply their trade as anthropologists of sixties acid psych music on this, their latest album from Matador. The band looks more like a grunge act, and the music seems more focused than sixties psych (probably for the most part because these guys don’t seem to be wasted out of their minds like their musical ancestors were). But this is psych music, make no bones about it.

The sound here is sonically crisp and focused (relatively speaking), unlike the first album which had a decidedly American vibe to it and seemed to suggest something closer to an Appalachian background than the Washington DC burbs these guys actually hail from. The guitar feedback is displayed aplenty but without gratuitous excess, and the sitar reinforces the psych bent without becoming some sort of opiate-drenched dirge like an old-school band named Electric Couch or something would likely indulge in.

The standout track for me is “Heaven” with its spacious rhythm guitar and simple but effective drums. The tempo is also pretty solid, something that can’t always be said of these guys or this genre. On “Get Up on Down” for example the band seems to be plodding along trying to find a sense of purpose, and on “Let it all Pass” the persistent cymbal tinkering and slow pace really detract from some excellent lead guitar work.

But this album is more even than the band’s first two, and most of the tracks move along well and manage to stay interesting. “Stacy's Song” and the lengthy untitled track are a bit slow as well, but here the mood is more reflective and languid than bland so I guess that’s okay.

This isn’t a band that goes out of their way to be inventive or explore many new ideas, but they have managed to carve out a niche for themselves playing tightly constructed psych music that avoids many of the traps that style has been guilty of in years past. For that they deserve recognition, and if you are a psych fan you will undoubtedly find this an appealing album and worth picking up. Four stars may be just a bit generous, but three seems like an insult so I’ll err on the side of caution and go with four. Recommended to psych fans and those who like their music rather dark without being depressing.


ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |


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