Meddlesome, Meddlesome, Meddlesome Bells - Worried Land
Reviewed by The Ripple Effect
Gotta be honest, I got no idea what to make of this album.
Try and imagine Peter, Paul and Mary ingesting handfulls of downers, freaking out on Sabbath and being hired by some gothic Romanian church to sing funeral dirges. Or Cocteau Twins after missing out on one too many electroshock sessions. Mumford and Sons at the cemetery freaked out on really bad acid. I've seen them described as Apocalyptic Folk Metal, and I guess that works.
That's about the best I can do. Male/female vocal interplay, near-folkish, droning doom with enough heavy guitar distortion to make sure it's banned from any radio station for the duration. Way slow, way doomy, nearly catatonic, yet somehow alive. I wanted to hate this album. I really did. I didn't want to review it, but here I am.
When I was a kid, I used to listen to the Hair soundtrack all the time. It was one of the earliest albums my parents and I could agree on. For those of you who haven't heard it, it's the tale of the hippy generation coming to grips with reality. "Oh My Death" coulda been on that soundtrack, furthering the sickly demise of flower power and the summer of love. It sounds like the comedown from a bad acid trip . . .that somehow will never end. "Worried Land Blues" maintains the achingly mournful tone of the album, but reveals something else. Underneath the morbid squalor, there's some beautiful playing going on here. Heavy shit mixed with acoustics and funeral paced drumming. Within it's own constraints, the album rises and falls, pummels with unrelenting heaviness, then lightens. "Van Gogh's Blues" is, dare I say it, relatively playful.
I think there's a theme here. My guess is it's a War Protest album. but really, I have no idea.
Strangely addicting. Despondently heavy. Ultimately weirdly satisfying. Meddlesome, Meddlesome, Meddlesome Bells, my how meddlesome you really are.