Dead Meadow, Old Growth

Label: Matador
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The Independent Culture

The title of this fifth album from American stoner-rock trio Dead Meadow perfectly encapsulates their style, which attempts to sprout new shoots from gnarly old stems originally grown by the likes of Blue Cheer, Zep and Sabs.

The results are double-edged: on the one hand, the sluggish, opiated slouch of tracks such as “Ain’t Got Nothing (To Go Wrong)” seems more apathetic than nihilistic.

But on the upside, the details with which they embellish their riffs are more clearly discernible – things like the wispy tamboura drone that introduces “Hard People, Hard Times” and the mellotron underscoring the loping groove of “Till Kingdom Come”, all evidence of imagination struggling to surmount instinct.

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