Album Reviews

Dark Meat: Truce Opium [Album Review]


Universal Indians was an album that bathed in obscurity. After all, opening track “Freedom Ritual” was a blissful track in which Dark Meat flirted with psychedelic trips and prog afterthoughts. It opened with a near two minute a capella before the epic guitars suddenly burst forth to rip off your face. It also had its painful moments, when over-the-top experimentation left little but a gut-wrenching noise. Truce Opium picks up right where Universal Indians left off, but in a way much stronger.

Truce Opium for example opens strong, continues strong, and even during more experimental free jazz tracks like “Flaps” has the ability to w.o.w. I mean, just listen to that opening sax solo and tell me that doesn’t rock. Do that and I’ll think you’re f*ing lame and incompetent when it comes to knowing greatness when you hear it. Seriously. “Flaps” goes from there into a blend of jazz and psychedelic rock; in fact, that’s one area that Truce Opium finds a constant (something lacking selectively on UI): true experimental psychedelic rock.

Bizarre as this band gets at times, with all its members, frequently nearing, if not topping, two dozen; in Truce Opium they all come together in a way that is entirely connected, whether they’re diving into a bout of free jazz (“When The Shelter Came”) or pumping out an epic 10-minute psychedelic jam (“Song Of The New Year”). Quite literally, an adequate descriptor for this band would be: a marching band from the early 70s tripping on acid and taken over by a wild man possessed by a peaceful but slightly angry demon.

Dark Meat is a band astonishing in size and creativity, and despite absolutely amazing tracks like “Freedom Ritual” and “Dead Man” off last year’s Universal Indians, Truce Opium is easily their best work yet. It’s hard to argue otherwise as the male/female harmony vocals in that other 10 minute epic “No One Was There” blasts into another colorful LSD trip, or as opener “The Faint Smell Of Moss” channels Dan Snaith (Caribou) times thirty. It is an album of epics and anthems, of immense mass and girth, of true rock ‘n’ roll the way it was truly meant to be.

Above photo snagged from the Dark Meat Flickr Group.

Dark Meat: The Faint Smell Of Moss [mp3]
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Dark Meat: Truce Opium [Album Cover]

Emergency Umbrella [CD, 2009]

1. The Faint Smell Of Moss
2. Future Galaxies
3. Flaps
4. No One Was There
5. When The Shelter Came
6. Last Of The Frontiersmen
7. Yonderin’
8. Song Of The New Year

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