Back in 1998, Dead Meadow stormed around Washington D.C. as the fledgling hybrid of area bands The Impossible Five and Colour, sewing together the remnants of two pieces of the region’s renown punk scene. Now 20 years into the game, Dead Meadow are in the business of sonic drifting, and taking their damn time cranking out the tunes while relishing their pace all the while, for that matter. Decent stoner rock doesn’t lend itself to urgency, anyways.
Marking two decades of free-range psych-rock, the group’s new album The Nothing They Need remains zero percent harried and every part kaleidoscopic as their past catalogue. Topping off their anniversary, the extra time in the studio allowed for guest appearance from former bandmates Mark Laughlin, Stephen McCarty, and Cory Shane, filling in the gaps of the Dead Meadow chronicles.
“There is never any real pressure to make anything at all,” singer and guitarist Jason Simon tells Vanyaland of the new LP. “We did take our time [on the new album] to make sure everything felt right and special but that is no different than what we do for each of our records. I am particularly proud of this one, though, and do love the fact that we’ve brought back everyone we’ve played with over the years.”
The album’s eight tracks span from languid rock waltzes to romps tinged with twang, ultimately delivering the escapism promised from the trio. “I want the listener to take themselves somewhere. We want to provide a space or moment for minds to wander and drift,” Simon elaborates.
But in 2018, the doomsday theme runs through even the most relaxed releases, and Dead Meadow aren’t exempt from the heaviness of the current cultural dread. Still, The Nothing They Need puts on a brave, blissed-out face, if for no other reason than to provide a smidgen of certainty where it’s needed most.
“I think there is a touch of apocalyptic vibes to the new album, especially with the cover art,” adds bassist Steve Kille. “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.”
DEAD MEADOW + DYR FASER + LUCID LYNX :: Wednesday, March 28 at Sonia, 10 Brookline St. in Cambridge, MA :: 8 p.m., 18-plus, $15 advance, $18 doors :: Facebook event page :: Featured photo by Jessica Senteno