• dark meat Universal Indians (CD, £9.50)

    label: Orange Twin

    Debut album from this 20-plus-piece freak-out number. Southern rock, free jazz, gospel, psychedelic... you won’t be let down. DARK MEAT are an Athens ensemble mixing elements of blues, punk rock, psychedelic jams, jazz and Zappa/Beefheart styled explosions. Imagine THE STOOGES meets CRAZY HORSE with killer Stax / Funeral / Marching band horns, wailing gospel-style female backing vocals, ripping guitar leads and free jazz freakouts. Singer/guitarist Jim McHugh and bassist Ben Clack moved to Athens from North Carolina two years ago and met guitarist Kris and drummer Forrest while working together at a downtown restaurant. When second drummer Spirit Bird left town, his chair was filled by cymbal master Jason Robira. The group features a powerful backing vocal ensemble called the Subtweeters (Heather, Page, & Claire) who can rival the vocali ntensity of the earth shaking performances on BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY's classic LP "Cheap Thrills." The groupĂ­s massive horn section led by Charlie (trumpet) and Aaron (trombone) comes across like a Salvation Army mariachi brass band - and with waves of reeds from Jeff, Al, and Becky, the songs become wildly fluid in the exploratory sections. DARK MEAT'­s debut album Universal Indians showcases the wildly eclectic outfit at their full-throttle frenzied best.

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