Album: Dead Meadow

Feathers, MATADOR
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The Independent Culture

Feathers is the first album from the highly regarded Dead Meadow since the recruitment of second guitarist Cory Shane, the addition of whom has pushed the Washington, DC, quartet into new, more thoughtful territory. There are still remnants of their ponderous stoner-rock sound in the opener "Let's Jump In", a slow grind of overloaded wah-wah guitars coasting sluggishly from speaker to speaker while Jason Simon sings about swimming in the ocean of God's eye. Here, and on "Get Up On Down", they occupy territory roughly adjacent to Julian Cope's current heavy-rock style, the thrumming of guitars creating something akin to an opiated slough of despond. It's an oddly produced variant of psychedelic rock which is much lighter than you'd expect: rather than riffing loudly, the two guitars circle each other warily in a double-helix of spiralling arpeggios, slipping at times into sludgy drones (as on "Through the Gates of the Sleepy Silver Door") or a more expansive, reflective sound of distinctly Pink

Feathers is the first album from the highly regarded Dead Meadow since the recruitment of second guitarist Cory Shane, the addition of whom has pushed the Washington, DC, quartet into new, more thoughtful territory. There are still remnants of their ponderous stoner-rock sound in the opener "Let's Jump In", a slow grind of overloaded wah-wah guitars coasting sluggishly from speaker to speaker while Jason Simon sings about swimming in the ocean of God's eye. Here, and on "Get Up On Down", they occupy territory roughly adjacent to Julian Cope's current heavy-rock style, the thrumming of guitars creating something akin to an opiated slough of despond. It's an oddly produced variant of psychedelic rock which is much lighter than you'd expect: rather than riffing loudly, the two guitars circle each other warily in a double-helix of spiralling arpeggios, slipping at times into sludgy drones (as on "Through the Gates of the Sleepy Silver Door") or a more expansive, reflective sound of distinctly Pink Floydian tone ("Eyeless Gaze All Eye"). Dead Meadow's songs range from tributes to a lover's regal beauty to observations on death, but the only lyric of note is the anti-Bush "Heaven": "The leader of this land thinks that evil has a life of its own/ Don't he know the shadows that he sees are nothing but his own?"

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