From the vaults of the esteemed Radio One stalwart DJ John Peel comes the recording of the Peel Sessions, the first one recorded outside the UK, by Dead Meadow in time for their upcoming European tour. Recorded in Fugazi’s practice space, this recording includes all six songs from the session as well as a couple of other live recordings. Vinyl LP on Cardinal Fuzz.
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- Peel Sessions by Dead Meadow
7/10 Robin Staff review, 11 March 2015
John Peel gets his affable mumble on, but before he can as much as finish a sentence, Dead Meadow kick in, as if nudging a see-saw into balance between right nice and proper gruesome. Their psych-inflected stoner is the order of the day, this session taking place two albums after their inception and offering cuts from the then-fresh ‘Howls from the Hills’. Peel gets to complement their drum sound and introduce choice cuts, and the band reciprocate with the usual: guitars that wah and whine, riffs that form circles and the occasional superdude howl from Jason Simon, with the appropriate amount of far-flung reverb. This is the thanks Peel gets?
If Peel sessions are supposed to be an indicator of a band at a certain time in their career, then this one shows Dead Meadow as a confident band of psych rippers who assumed themselves current kings of the universe -- the way they play, it seems accurate, as they manage to craft immense atmosphere out of a room that had mainly been home to Ian Makaye practicing his yelling. The rawness of Dead Meadow is heard live, “Drifting Down Streams” beginning with a place-setting drum fill in which you can almost see the band looking around at each-other for queues; once they’re finalised, though, the band jumps into a jam of total clarity, squeezing riffs out of guitars like drops of water and pounding down on the drums like a stoner falling down a mountain.
Dead Meadow are tight, basically. This is early proof; it sounds like hard work, done chill.
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