Blood Meridian

    Kick Up the Dust


    Just when our friends north of the border were doing so good at aping Americana (see: the Sadies and Neko Case), along comes Blood Meridian to lower the Canadian success rate. Blood Meridian’s attempts at bluesy rock seem faked and forced, like the band members knew how much praise the aforementioned acts get and wanted a little piece of the buzz for themselves. Kick up the Dust doesn’t kick up much of anything interesting. The album’s closing track is “McDonald’s Blues,” and that title pretty much says it all. Plastic soul, man. Plastic soul.


    Opener “Your Boyfriend’s Blues” gets things off to a nice shambolic start. It’s a simple twelve-bar blues song, with lyrics in the three-part line/repeat/punch-line form. The only other song that really succeeds like this is “Good Lover,” in which lead singer Matthew Camirand relates a sad tale of love dried up.


    Elsewhere, things aren’t so successful. Originality is harder to locate than Iraqi WMD on most of the album. “Most Days” almost sounds like a spiritual, with Camirand in high falsetto. “Soldiers of Christ” is a pretty pointless riff on right-wing Christianity, attempting to get those whack jobs to stop being so militant; but to anyone actually listening, it’s probably mere preaching to the choir. Camirand gets backing vocal assistance on the title track from keyboard player Shira Blustein; the result is very June and Johnny. “In the Forest, Under the Moon” rips off the White Stripes‘ “In the Cold, Cold Night.” And “Work Hard, For What?” ditches the pseudo-blues all together for an insipid attempt at King Missile-style humor that doesn’t kick up many laughs.


    Most media and political attention lately has been paid to our border to the south. But how secure is the Canadian border? Because we don’t need any more of this dreck getting into the country. Blood Meridian trades in musical forms Americans invented and usually do better. Listening to the band is the aural equivalent of the feeling I got when I heard Greece beat the U.S. basketball team in the world championships.



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