Dark Meat’s latest begins with an amazing requiem-like intro sung by Page Campbell before diving into a tidal wave of free-jazz horns and swaying rock ’n’ roll shenanigans. The Athens, Ga.-based band is enormous—30 musicians play on the album—and the multi-layered whirlwind of instruments reflects that perfectly. Even crazier is the combination of styles Dark Meat tethers together. If acid-tripping hippies, tattooed Southern rock bikers and a college marching band piled into a studio together, this is what would happen.
“Fuck You Then” begins with a bunch of giggling kids yelling, “Ohhhh yeah!” at which point the song leaps into the sort of revivalist garage rock you’d expect from Weird War. “Freedom Ritual” is funky, brassy and swaggering while “Dead Man” delves into Southern twang.
In fact, it’s all Southern rock, but not in a way you’ve heard it before. It’s feverish, psychedelic and smart, with off-the-wall titles like “There is a Retard on Acid Holding a Hammer to Your Brain.” Though the album couldn’t possibly convey Dark Meat’s live performances—rumored to involve sailor suits, flying objects and face paint—it evokes colorful wackiness to its full potential. (Erika Fredrickson)
Dark Meat plays night two of Friend Friend Friend Fest at the Badlander Saturday, May 3, at 8 PM. $15/$30 for all three nights.