As a new generation of youth absorbs psychedelic classics like The 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson and Pink Floyd, others take it upon themselves to spawn new renditions of that familiar, swirly groove. All the while, the comparatively venerable Dead Meadow nods in approval.
The trio was peddling those trippy dirges and swollen, guitar-driven voyages into the deepest, darkest recesses of the dream cycle for over a decade before they came back into vogue. They were long accustomed to their outcast roles in the hipper-than-thou D.C. punk and indie scene. But the collective is grinning from ear to ear now that its flavor of choice is once again the belle of the ball, not only for its own sake — after skating by with niche, nostalgic crowds for so long — but for that scene as a whole.
“It’s so cool that there’s a younger group of kids who are getting into psych music,” singer/guitarist Jason Simon said. “It felt like it was dying, but it has come back in such a big way.”
You could say Dead Meadow, which plays Tuesday at The Conservatory, was celebrating the rebirth of psychedelic rock in the most literal way imaginable in crafting its latest album, Warble Womb.
That title is as much a mission statement as it is a pleasant alliteration, a viscous, enveloping collection of songs intent on seeping into your skull and sloshing around.
“It’s an apt description for the music we want to make,” Simon said. “You want this warm space, something you can get inside … a record that lets you occupy the mental space it creates.”
It’s the latest studio album for Dead Meadow, which put out a string of records through Matador (Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Interpol) in the mid-2000s before self-releasing its previous two through bassist Steve Kille’s Xemu Records label.
Warble Womb was the first to be self-recorded and produced, though, a kid-in-a-candy-store mentality of tinkering and experimenting, which explains the longer-than-normal gestation period.
“It was nice to stretch out in our own studio,” Simon said. “There’s usually this hurried pressure, but it suited us to take our time.”
The final product is certainly more mountain than mole hill for all the time spent on it; Warble Womb is over seventy minutes of hypnotic fever dreaming erected as a monument to the current psych-rock resurrection.
“There was this choice between cutting the material in half or just being like, ‘Fuck it. Let’s put it all out there and see what people dig,’” Simon said. “So much work goes into every step of the process, you might as well make it an epic album.”