"I can't tell if we're running from, or coming to," singer/guitarist Jason Simon muses on the folkie, eulogic "Ain't Got Nothing (To Go Wrong)," his voice dripping with idiosyncratic weariness. He could easily be opening up to a lover, making a statement about the accelerating decline of Western civilization, or summing up his band's lack of genre identity.
When Washington, D.C.'s Dead Meadow formed, reverb-saturated stoner metal was on the menu; with 2005's Feathers, a shift was made to reverb-soaked stoner-psychedelic rock. Now Old Growth finds the group dabbling in country, blues, and straight-up rock—Black Mountain sans estrogen, with a bigger gravity bong and more dynamite kind bud. They are fully and finally, it seems, themselves: dipping slurred platitudes and political complaints into open-armed tunes, and as bold as they are inviting.
"Between Me and the Ground" takes aim at the Bush administration—"All across this great earth, you cheat and you fight/I bet you sleep easier than I do at night"—while vacillating between lamb-calm and lion-tough. "The Great Deceiver" sports a country-rock gait. Its easygoing, twangy riff crunches and pedal-steel drones move at porch-swing speed as Simon (who, I suspect, idolizes Perry Farrell) spins a sort of blues-trope yarn about a woman who finds Satan everywhere she turns.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.
More Music News
- Phish and Keith Urban are coming: Big news for two very different fanbases
- Flashlight Vinyl: New record store brings vinyl paradise to northeast Minneapolis
- How Minneapolis' awful Super Bowl XXVI halftime show changed the game
- Minneapolis indie-rock faves Fog reunite, announce first album in nine years