Dead Meadow are back with their newest offering, The Nothing They Need, to be released on Xemu Records on 30th March.
With the release of The Nothing They Need, Dead Meadow’s Steve Kille and Jason Simon celebrate twenty years of the band with eight songs that feature everyone that has been musically involved with the band over the years. They’re joined by original drummer Mark Laughlin, Stephen McCarty (the drummer throughout the Matador years), and current drummer Juan Londono. Cory Shane joins them on guitar for some Feathers era dual guitar interplay. The album was recorded in Dead Meadows’ studio/rehearsal space, The Wiggle Room.
As with the rest of their catalogue, Dead Meadow assert that The Nothing They Need is meant to be an escape, Kille notes, “I think there is a touch of apocalyptic vibes to the new album especially with the cover art that is being assembled. There is so much rhetoric and negative energy in the bigger picture of the world it is hard to not to have that show through in art. Though in the small world of people I know and we meet on tour, everyone is still just as optimistic, though it gets harder every day. I think a lot of the album’s lyrics mirror that sentiment.”
Opening with lead track ‘Keep Your Head’, the album wastes no time in establishing its intentions. The sombre track with its distinct dulcet tones swoons and creates soundscapes of rolling desert through clever chord progression and layers of guitar distortion. ‘Here with the Hawk’ is a different entity with its playful feel due to the rolling drum beat and repeated guitar riffs. ‘I’m So Glad’ channels raw unadulterated blues at its core, with hints of psychedelia round the edges to complete the package.
‘Nobody Home’ is the strongest offering on the album with its vibrant drum beat and intense bass line driving the track. The distorted guitar riff interludes with the vocal style long reminiscent of Dead Meadow make for an intoxicating mix and the track is strong throughout, with its false ending half way through propelling the track to new heights. ‘This Shaky Hand is Not Mine’ begins calmly enough, before descending into carefully coordinated chaos with sounds competing for attention before almost coming to a halt and kicking up again.
‘Rest Natural’ is a complete change of tact, an instrumental with experimental brass and percussion, living up to its name beautifully before ‘The Light’ takes smatterings of everything we have had so far, increases the fuzz, adds lashings of reverberation and takes the listener on a journey that isn’t easily forgotten, this continues in concluding number ‘Unsettled Dust’ with evocative lyrics and eerie guitar tones thrown in to make it that something a bit special.
Dead Meadow are somewhat of a unique entity due to their approach to the music they make and the wider industry as a whole. Gathering a loyal fan base with every new album and new rotation of the band, The Nothing They Need draws it all together and offers something for everyone, whether it be a playful ditty or a soulful blues bass line.