2001 album by Dead Meadow, a psychedelic-stoner crew out of Washington D.C. Moving with the slow, determined focus that this music demands, the Meadow manage to be tight whilst sounding loose on Howls From The Hills, and it is certainly possible to sink deep into their jams. First ever vinyl release for the album on Xemu.
Vinyl LP £14.49 XM1016LP
Black vinyl LP on Xemu.
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- Howls From The Hills by Dead Meadow
‘Howls From The Hills’ was one of a meek thirteen releases put out on Talotta Records, a label launched by Fugazi’s Joe Lally way back when. What was Lally into, you ask? Swirling psych; wah pedals; slowly unwinding riffs; vocals that sound like fog. Dead Meadow wouldn’t sound out of place right now, on this showing: their music has aged, but the world around it hasn’t, and their bumpy riffology can be seen in a myriad of hypnotic psych bands about today.
‘Howls From The Hills’ is arguably the band’s best showing, and the key to that is its indifference: it’s never too showy, its production suppressed in a way suitable for their laid-back stomp. Climaxes are rarely climbed on this record, the breakdowns happening a couple stretches down in tempo but at the same volume; “Jusiamere Farm” creases into a slow as shit drum march that sounds gloriously tight but not overwhelming, while Jason Simon’s nasal vocals flow comfortably in the background, sounding like an affectation rather than a point of order.
Dead Meadow might point to this record as their pastoral one, their little strand of Americana -- every rock band from the States has to do it, at some point, and tunes like “The One I Don’t Know” see them introspect with a slice of morose, fragmented folk music. When his voice is coupled with a ringing, tuneless guitar, Simon sounds something like Daniel Johnston, crafting touching, isolating music that seems to make the world around it disappear. Ultimately, though, it’s ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll that makes Dead Meadow feel homebound, tunes like “Everything’s Goin’ On” sounding like lazy renditions of never-ending Hendrix songs. It’s nice to know that as Dead Meadow began to slow down rock music, they were still listening to stuff that raised their heartbeat.
9/10 Jack 17th June 2015
Howls from the Hills is the second album from Dead Meadow and just as impressive as their self titled debut. This album is generally darker than the debut but follows a similar path in terms of style and arrangement. You will hear elements of Hendrix, The Doors, The Beatles, Sabbath, Zeppelin, and more in terms of mood and texture. These guys are not simply emulating others, they've woven these styles into their own unique blend and the pure talent these guys possess is impressive and inspiring.
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