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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