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Dead Meadow - Shivering King and Others CD (album) cover

SHIVERING KING AND OTHERS

Dead Meadow

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.76 | 10 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars ‘Shivering King and Others’ may be Dead Meadow’s best album yet. The band seems to have become the preeminent psych-drone act of this century (granted, the century is still young). And with good reason; since the one-two punch of their self-titled debut and ‘Howl From the Hills’ the band has increasingly refined the drone and psych riffs that make them such a huge favorite among the type of crowd who listen to droning, trance-inducing psych music (I know who you are – I’m the one messing with your head at concerts). Anyway, even for those of us who prefer to stay mentally in the now, Dead Meadow offer an attractive alternative to spending your time listening to forty year old psych records that you’ve already heard 1,000 times before. At least this stuff is new, and sonically more dynamic in most cases.

I’ve no idea what guitarist Jason Simon is singing about most of the time, and even reading the lyrics doesn’t really help. But I can’t say as it matters anyway, unless they are about something like selling babies into Bedouin slavery or something – that wouldn’t be good. But I think with titles like “Good Moanin'” and “I Love You Too” we’re probably on safe ground on that count.

Speaking of “Good Moanin’”, that’s the archetypical Dead Meadow song for this album and probably for the band’s whole career as far as I’m concerned. Constant drum from one end to the other, undecipherable vocals, bass that sounds more like a buzz saw, and Stephen McCarty’s drums that I’m fairly certain could hypnotize you if you were watching him live. And I’m guessing that’s probably happened with several fans before.

The other track worth pointing out is “Raise the Sails” which I guess is the band’s version of a ballad. The drone lets up every so slightly here, or at least takes on a more melodic tone, relatively speaking. I still have no idea what Simon is singing, but again that doesn’t matter. Dead Meadow are about the shapes, colors and emotions that sounds evoke, so details such as lyrics or even what chords are being played are irrelevant. What’s important is how the listener hears and reacts to them.

I got hooked on Dead Meadow with ‘Howls from the Hills’ a few years ago, and while I doubt if I would go see them live since my company has a random drug-testing policy and second-hand smoke can kill anyway; I really enjoy playing their CDs every once and a while just to kick back and enjoy the visual, tactile and other sensory experiences their music can evoke. Four stars for their third album, and highly recommended to psych fans as well as people who want to do more than just hear their music.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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