Written by Fense
Do you ever see an album in the record store that sparks your curiosity each time you pass it by? It nags you and gets underneath your skin—you want to check it out, but you’re wary about dropping $20 on an LP that might or might not be good. It’s simply not worth the risk. Universal Indians by Dark Meat was just such an album. Then I heard “Freedom Ritual”, the album’s first track, and I was hooked.
Hearing “Freedom Ritual” tipped me over the edge. There was no way I could NOT pick up Universal Indians on my next record store binge.
Dark Meat has an interesting sound. When you hear someone talk about experimental music, you usually think of something modern; Dark Meat, on the other hand, mashes experimentation with 60s and 70s psychedelic folk-rock. While several songs, like “Freedom Ritual”, “Angel Of Meth”, and “Dead Man” all fit this mold, others like “Birdsong + Footsteps, Flute, Horn” (guess what this one includes?) and “Disintegrating Flowers” are damn near as avant garde as it gets.
“Dead Man” is one of the few songs Dark Meat has put to video. Where Universal Indians is a colorful album, filled with blaring horns, wild saxophones, multiple vocalists, and rockin’ guitars, the video for “Dead Man” is, for the most part, filmed in black and white.
This flavor gives it an interesting and supernatural feel that fits well with the song—the scene where vocals enter includes two ghastly figures singing while standing in a waterfall. Dirt on faces looks like scars or blood or old wounds. Toward the end, color is introduced as the wild characters are baptized in a fiery yellow and orange glow.
“Dead Man” may not be the best introduction to Dark Meat, as it’s quite a bit more accessible than some songs (see the aforementioned ones listed as avant garde), but then again it is. It puts on display the classic folk and rock and psychedelic sounds Dark Meat favor, and it adds plenty of horns and saxophones to the mix.
Either way, Dark Meat is one of those strange bands you simply must check out. Their performances are a cluster fuck of people—they’ll fill up a small venue without letting a single person inside. They’ll rival I’m From Barcelona and The Polyphonic Spree in size, though they’ll give every member an instrument to play rather than drop a single mic a few feet from the mass choir. The sound, as you can image, is epic.