On the expanded release of 2006's Universal Indians, the raucous Southern rock collective Dark Meat offers a window into its bizarre commune for those who missed out on the fun the first time around. Dark Meat is a seventeen-piece ensemble, as much a lifestyle as a music troupe, with a number of its members living, farming and, notably, creating kickass Southern-fried pyschedelic rock together in a eco-village outside of Athens, Georgia. But there’s nothing hippy-dippy about their sound.
“Well Fuck You, Then” opens in a ripping early-'70s-Zappa-esque buzzsaw explosion, with distorted twang-crunch guitar riffs circulating around a blaring horn section. The shouted title blends proto-punk backed by a Nashville-gospel-soul female chorus, a nearly four-minute burst of ballsy swagger and come-party-with-us invite.
This release of Universal Indians closes with a number of live songs. On the preposterously propulsive “One More Trip,” you can practically feel the walls shaking as the band smashes Motown choruses, church-basement soul shakedown, throaty downhome blues wailing and hard-charging double-time backbeat into an electrifying rave-up.
There is no shortage of over-populated rock collectives these days, but few of them are as enjoyable, uplifting, dingy and embraceable. Ensembles this talented are rarely so free of pretension. Cast away any preconceptions about communal living; Dark Meat is one movement worth following.
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