The third album in the Pelt canon, Max Meadows begins the band's journey into waters known only to their creators. Integrating a host of homemade and/or modified instruments, the trio winds out waves of electric bliss on long, see-sawing drones like "Samsara," "Sun Is Standing," and "Outside Listening." By this point Pelt had begun to wear their outsider/hippie image (which would eventually lead to their nickname as "The Hillbilly Theater of Eternal Music") proudly, and the attentive listener can hear tiny seeps of the musical theories of John Fahey and his approach to modern classical composition leaking into cuts like "Dismal Falls." Elsewhere, the thick-shouldered crunch achieved near the climax of the nearly 17-minute "Hippy War Machine" is enough to clear any clogged sinuses (and some concert rooms) when applied at volume, and is as good an indicator as any that Max Meadows marks the onset of Pelt's breakthrough into fields of sound that some of their post-rock contemporaries only wish they could reach.
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AllMusic Review by Patrick Foster