In the year 2005, I listened to approximately 150 or so new albums. And this, without a doubt, held my attention for the longest time, and I found myself coming back again and again to it.
I won't make comparisons to other bands, because everyone else can do that. This album is very atmospheric, at times it holds doom over you. It's psychedelic, no doubt about that. Laden with slow riffs and heavy drumming, but it still has its buildups, one or two catches & hooks, and its feakouts. Not to mention the singer's mastery of the wah pedal. The musicianship of each member shines here, and they even dust off the acoustics on a few tracks and show off some lap steel on one of the tracks.
Highlights include, the very first song, Let's Jump In, which from the first 10 seconds you can tell is going to be a dark trip down the rabbit hole. The second song, Such Hawks Such Hounds, has some really good drumming on it (marching band perhaps?), and a chord progression and lyrics that will draw you into an Edgar Allen Poe scene. They redid the song Heaven for this album, and this version is much more listenable. The single off the album, At Her Open Door, probably stands out the most and is the easiest to swallow (check out the music video on their website, DeadMeadow.com, it's pretty good). Sleepy Silver Door also makes an appearance at the end of the album, after a few minutes of some odd jug-sounding tribal-esque drumming (60's anyone?), then it breaks into the old psychedelia again for the nearly 14 minute closer. Get out the rolling papers and get ready kids.
A new drummer joined the fold and they added a second guitarist. That being said, this album is different from their previous releases, but it still runs down the same vein and if you are a fan of their older stuff, you won't be disenfranchised by this.
It's good. I'd recommend you double your listening pleasure with marijuana, but it's already stoner enough that you won't have to if you don't swing that way (it's okay, you'll find out one day). I read somewhere that this was Matador's slowest selling album, and I can't believe that. Be one of the few elite and own this album, it really is timeless and will go great next to your favorite records from the 60's and 70's.
I said I wouldn't make comparisons, but I have one question for you... "Are You Experienced?"