Nifty thing Fugazi’s Joe Lally has going with his Tolotta imprint, quietly and confidently cranking out psychedelic doom records right and left, most prominently with Spirit Caravan, most recently with Dead Meadow. Dead Meadow’s eponymous debut chugs rather metronomically at times, rather chaotically at others, the end result being on the jammier, more exploratory end of doom metal, forests n? wizards psychedelic veneer and all. Garaged, but definitely bubbling up from some cauldron that knows no time or place, Dead Meadow lands at that point where Blue Cheer, early Hawkwind, and perhaps Can?s heavier moments (mentally, not necessarily volume-wise) may or may not meet up — that is, if they haven’t done so already. Compounding this alien suspension, guitarist Jason Simon’s wispy, barely-there vocals lend a softer, more surreal feel to the album’s proceedings, certainly at odds with much of stoner metal’s typically rabble-rousing vocal exhortations, but certainly something that works to Dead Meadow’s advantage. “Beyond the Fields We Know” indeed.
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