Got It Live if You Want It (Bomp!)
by Ewan Wadharmi
When The Durutti Column performed Live at the Bottom Line New York, the image was of a guitarist eking out minimalist jazz-rock with occasional vocals only as punctuation. While Dead Meadow exchange lengths of silence for sludgy ripping, the effect is essentially the same. The ear is waiting for a bus that isn’t coming. By attempting to access every note on the fretboard, Dead Meadow are just taking the long route. The indulgent repetition owes to ’70s blues metal and prog-rock. The ironic genres that are presented as higher art, but are in reality embraced by couch-surfing stoners. This is music by wankers, for wankers, and so is packaged in movements rather than songs.
“Everything’s Going On” takes a page from Golden Earring and turns it into a book. Sure, “Radar Love” was long, but it went somewhere along the way. Design and direction are neglected for thick texture. Take any Iron Butterfly or Hendrix jam out of the context of the song, and you’re left with this. Certainly Zeppelin fans would argue that Robert Plant is a superior singer to Jason Simon, but I assure you, they’re equally annoying. Simon actually emulates Neil Young to a large degree. And because his vocals are steeped in reverb, he remains listenable. At times, hard-hitting drums and powerful guitars reach a groove. But when you find the end of that riff, for God’s sake jump off!
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