It’s been ten years since The Dandy Warhols made their meager mark on alternative radio with the lite-psychedelica of Come Down. By no means was it a poor record, but for all their rockstar bravado, it would’ve been nice for them to release something a little more challenging and sinister. They were aping the post-Altamont sound after all…
Dead Meadow stands to be the modern counterpart to the death of the ’60s The Warhols attempted to reach and Feathers is the definitive statement of their career thus far. Drenching everyhing in reverb and building up a mixture of guitar, bass and drums in a murky, turgid morass, the band makes some of the most bass-heavy psychedelica I’ve ever heard. “Let’s Jump In” and the superb “Such Hawks Such Hounds” kick things off rather modestly in terms of sonic exploration. The latter even feels tightly held in check by a spiraling guitar riff that grounds it in some sort of alien folk territory. Expanding their swampy sounds by degrees as the disc moves on, they fall in and out of stoner rock momentum on the upward climbing “Heaven,” while “Stacy’s Song” is the kind of gentle acoustic ballad Courtney Taylor’s braying sneer always marred. Dead Meadow’s echoing, harmonized mumbles relay more emotion than discernable lyrics likely would. All of this leads up to the two-part finale “Through the Gates of the Sleepy Silver Door,” a track which begins with a studio-treated drum circle and ends up laying waste to any remaining folk tendencies of their inner hippies by plowing through them with a 33 1/3-speed Melvins riff. What could be more post-Altamont than that?
Matador Records: www.matadorrecords.com