Dead Meadow at Hawthorne Theatre

Vortex Music Magazine

This brand of unfiltered psychedelic rock from D.C. will hit PDX on April 8.

Dead Meadow is a psychedelic rock band that started in Washington, D.C., and it’s almost as hard to cut through the chaos of their music as it is to cut through the words that come from politicians. It’s muddy, distorted and full of energy. If you can handle the swarm of layered dissonance, the effect is fascinating.

Dead Meadow’s sound levels explain their aesthetic. A quick look at their SoundCloud shows you the kind of wall of noise you’re in for. Reverberating vocals peek out from wailing guitars and thick drum strikes to make up the subtleties that bring out their sound.

Listening to Dead Meadow reminds you of the most tumultuous thought processes. It's the shot of liquor that took you too far off the edge, and now you’re falling. The music attacks you at times, while at other moments, it soothes you by appealing to your wandering lifestyle. Dead Meadow is more honest than many bands—especially those who try to create perfect arrangements—because imperfection is real. Chaotic noise is the environment we inhabit.

When I first heard Dead Meadow, I found it hard to get into their music because I had become so accustomed to pop sensibilities, even in psychedelic rock music. Once you become familiar with what’s really here, it’s hard to imagine why everything else you listen to is so clean. Let the chatter flow in and accept the turbulence.

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