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Old Growth ‘ Dead Meadow

BY CHRIS PEKEN

Album number five sees alleged stoner rockers Dead Meadow in fairly mellow pastures indeed. Slowly they seem to have stepped away from the heavy-riffing, steady stompin’ rockers of the brilliant Shivering King and Others and perhaps imbibed too much of their own crop. Old Growth moves at a glacial pace, you can see the rings in each tune as they age with each passing season – this is more Pink Floyd then Black Sabbath. Launching forth with the albums most epic tune up front gives you an idea, Ain’t Got Nothing (to go Wrong) sprawls its way in and around the forest looking for signs of the mythical and mystical without ever encountering any. Between Me and the Ground knowingly or unknowingly pinched a Charlie Owen riff from his Cast of Aspersion days, and chugs along nicely on its back while the tribal toms, tanpura drone and eastern style acoustic strumming of Seven Seers adds some much needed colour and diversity to proceeding as the track builds to a frantic conclusion. With former Brian Jonestown Massacre member Rob Campanella on production duties there is more psychedlia dialed into the Meadows that does provide more room to explore their poppy side, but the problem seems to be that they are unconvinced. A pleasant stroll through these woods, but don’t expect to see any ‘stoner metal gods’ amongst the trees.

*** ½