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Guitars Aren’t Boring

Get to know Dead Meadow.
Κείμενο Emily Lime

Photo by Adam Kell.

I think I was just nearly finished complaining to a friend about the obnoxious, “driving” rock sound of the most recent post-post-postpunk when I got the Dead Meadow album Shivering King and Others. I put it on, the first grimy and psychedelic chords puffed out like smoke, and every bitter taste I had just attributed to the failure of modern rock was suddenly lost in an endless haze of 70s guitar fuzz and groovy sweetness. And fucking riffs! Even though throwbackicity was their initial design, Dead Meadow aren’t just some retro band that will thrive for half a second only to be snuffed out by the next group of Jimmy Page or Mick Jagger look-alikes. “A few years ago, we decided we were gonna do this band with 70s rock solos so people would get mad at us,” says Dead Meadow’s bassist/sitar player Steve Kille. “We figured people would think, ‘That shit’s sooo gay.’” But after two albums on Tolotta—Dead Meadow and Howls from the Hills—and now the equally stoned Shivering King, forthcoming on Matador, the trio comes off as straight as John Ashcroft, and who doesn’t like that? Their blurry-eyed Sabbath-meets-CCR reverence isn’t something you’d expect from a Washington, D.C., band, so I told Steve that I thought only hardcore bullshit comes from the nation’s capital. He said he’s not originally from there, so that must be their saving grace. That and the guitar and vocal pillows of cute guitarist/singer Jason Simon. Holy shit. EMILY LIME
Shivering King and Others is out soon from Matador.