Dead Meadow

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Howls From The Hills (2001), 6/10
Shivering King And Others (2003) , 6.5/10
Feathers (2004), 7/10
Old Growth (2008), 5.5/10

Dead Meadow are a stoner power-trio formed in 1998 in Washington by guitarist and vocalist Jason Simon. The six-song mini-album Dead Meadow (Tolotta, january 2001 - Xemu, 2006) and Howls From The Hills (Tolotta, october 2001 - Xemu, 2007) were broadly inspired by Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath.

Got Live if You Want It (Committee to Keep Music Evil, 2002) documents their live performances.

Shivering King And Others (Ba Da Ding, 2003) is another dose of dark and slow riffs, ranging from Black Sabbath-ian monoliths (I Love You Too) to extremely dilated space-rock (Raise The Sails). The music tends to repeat itself, slightly more upbeat (Babbling Flower), or more melodic (Good Morning) or more trance-y (Everything's Going On) or bluesier (The Golden Cloud) or lazier (Heaven), but it does deliver its punch. Except for one incursion into psychedelic-folk (The Shivering King), the album sounds more monotonous that it needs to be in order to deliver its flagrant attack against the aesthetic conventions.

Adding Cory Shane on second guitar, Feathers (Matador, 2004) abandoned the bleaker aspects of the previous album and instead indulged into the morbid sounds that had been experimented on the previous album. Hypnotic litanies such as Get Up On Down and At Her Open Door share the stage with noise-blues jams such as Let It All Pass and the 15-minute closer Through the Gates of the Sleepy Silver Door (the album's standout, particularly the galactic instrumental coda in the vein of early Pink Floyd). In a typical move, the booming blues cadences of Let's Jump In are subdued by ethereal guitar improvisation and dreamy whispered vocals, evoking the most psychedelic of the first Led Zeppelin album mixed with a Marc Bolan fairy tale. Three tracks later, Heaven revisits the idea with an even softer edge of bluesy guitars and an ecstatic refrain. The heavy thunder of Eyeless Gaze all Eye (the album's second standout) decays into a quiet moaning and whining reminiscent of Pink Floyd's languid elegies. At the other end of the spectrum, Such Hawks Such Hounds evokes the otherworldly atmosphere of the Doors' first album.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Marco Marraccini)

I Dead Meadow sono un power-trio stoner formato nel 1998 a Washington dal chitarrista e cantante Jason Simon. I mini-album contenenti sei canzoni Dead Meadow (Talotta, gennaio 2001) e Howls From The Hills (Talotta, ottobre 2001) traevano ampiamente ispirazione dai Blue Cheer e dai Black Sabbath.

Got Live if You Want It (Committee to Keep Music Evil, 2002) documenta le loro performances dal vivo.

Shivering King And Others (Ba Da Ding, 2003) contiene un'altra dose di riffs lenti e dark, che oscillano tra monoliti Black Sabbathiani (I Love You Too) e space-rock estremamente dilatati (Raise The Sails). La musica tende a ripetere se stessa, ora un poco in levare (Babbling Flower), ora piu' melodica (Good Morning), ora maggiormente ipnotica (Everything's Going On), o blues (The Golden Cloud) o indolente (Heaven), ma porta a segno il suo colpo. Eccettuata un'incursione nel folk psichedelico (The Shivering King), l'album suona piu' monotono di quanto non fosse necessario per portare a segno il suo evidente attacco contro le convenzioni estetiche.

Aggiunto Cory Shane alla seconda chitarra, Feathers (Matador, 2004) abbandona gli aspetti desertici dell'album precedente ed invece asseconda il suono malato sperimentato nell'album precedente. Litanie ipnotiche come Get Up On Down e At Her Open Door si spartiscono la scena con jams noise-blues come Let It All Pass e la decima traccia strumentale senza titolo (la cosa migliore dell'album). Con una operazione tipica, le tuonanti cadenze blues di Let's Jump In sono attenuate da eteree improvvisazioni chitarristiche e da un cantato languido e sussurrato. Tre tracce dopo, Heaven rivisita quell'idea con un taglio ancor piu' morbido. Il tuono fragoroso di Eyeless Gaze all Eye decade in un tenue e piagnucolante lamento che richiama alla mente i raga cosmici dei Grateful Dead. Dall'altra parte della medaglia, Such Hawks Such Hounds rievoca l'atmosfera spirituale del primo album dei Doors.

Relocated to Los Angeles and reduced to a trio, Dead Meadow increases the dose of psychedelic and progressive nuances on Old Growth (2008). This cerebral mid-tempo version of Dead Meadow represents the other side of Feathers: meandering inspiration in search of a reason to exist.

Three Kings (Xemu) is a live album/dvd.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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