Blood Meridian: Kick Up The Dust

By Chris Pacifico

If Jerry Seinfeld moonlighted as a music journalist here and now in 2006, he would probably have some material in his bit that goes something like: "What's the deal with all these Canadian bands as of late? They're all hairy and create this drugged-out, earthly Americana with sardonically dark lyrics." I couldn't tell ya, Mr. Seinfeld. Perhaps you should go back to your normal riffs that revolve around Superman, airplane peanuts, and cereal.

One thing for certain though is that members of the loosely based Black Mountain collective have been dishing out tunes for the past year, which makes some wonder if it's part of a movement or just the creative impetus of an extended circle of friends or both. After providing his part in the likes of Black Mountain, Pink Mountaintops, and the Black Halos, Matt Camirand has set up his own shop with Blood Meridian, named after author Cormac McCarthy's violent Western novel with Biblical overtones. Camirand is a righteous boy, yet he expresses himself rather snidely as if Bright Eyes and Steely Dan collaborated on an album together. While indeed Camirand sings every song like he just got done reading the complete works of Nietzsche, Kick Up The Dust is not an album for the thinking man, though it will make one out of you after one listen.

This album includes tracks that ponder the ills of materialism, like "Work Hard, For What?" and is infused with the slithering of the Farfisa organ. It does contain the ethos of the outlaw country genre, but it gets pushed to the edge just a bit further with the declaring of "Take this job and shove it up your ass." "Let it Come Down" is a wonderfully composed barroom ballad as is the eerie swap blues of "Most Days." Of course a solid album in this modern day wouldn't be complete without taking a swipe at the evangelical religious right like Blood Meridian does on "Soldiers of Christ."

As a whole band, Blood Meridian seems as if they were illegitimate children of their native forefathers The Band and conceived in the womb of a woman who just couldn't seem to put down the hash pipe and bottle of downers. Its foundation of haunting Americana and twangy noir lyrics, mixed with an intelligent mockery of society, renders it a deep listen. The chorus of the title track says it all as a rousing campfire deliverance is induced into the howling "Let's drink/ Let's cuss/ Let's fight/ and let's fuck!"

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[Published on: 12/14/06]

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mescking starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/16/2006 07:55AM
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A great album, one of the best of 2006 in my opinion. If you like country-tinged rock with a touch of weirdness, this is for you. But the way the comments are going on this board, there will probably be more complaining that Jambase is covering "more emo crap" or some other ignorant argument than covering good music that happens not to be stuck in one category. Open you ears, and discover that there's good music everywhere.

mcmanust Mon 12/18/2006 08:22PM
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I agree. I think its hysterical when someone calls this music emo. Just hysterical.

All Loving Liberal White Guy Mon 12/18/2006 09:34PM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

blood meridian is nowhere near emo! in fact, most jam purists would probably really dig blood meridian and their dark sardonic earthy vibe. take the blood meridian challange today!!!!

shainhouse Tue 12/19/2006 08:03AM
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I really dig this album. Interesting review as well, Chris. I dug the anecdotes, but I do think conjuring up Seinfeld at the beginning is a bit of a stretch. I think you wounded it down succinctly and wonderfully, especially by discussing their often forward lyricism.