Dark Meat

Truce Opium

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    7
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Their second and, as it proved, final album released during the band's lifetime, Truce Opium found Dark Meat (or to give their full name, Dark Meat/Vomit Lasers/Family Band/Galaxy) kicking up another series of chaotically noisy and often very fun songs with psych rock rampage/ramble meeting equally chaotic horn charts. While supposedly the result of a stripped-down ensemble, nine members are still more than most bands could regularly come up with and the band made the most of them on songs like "No One Was There," guitar parts fighting against skronking sax while steady trancelike rhythms kept everything moving in the background. If the inspirations for the band's work are often clear, whether it's Sun Ra, the Stooges, or any number of Japanese bands that followed in both of their wakes, chief songwriter/lead singer Jim McHugh has a good ear for the tunes' core hooks and how to deliver them in a wide-eyed and frenzied fashion, while at its best the band often outright slays. The building arrangement of "No One Was There" leads into a completely joyous and frenetic instrumental conclusion that feels like early Spiritualized gone completely unhinged, while "Song of the New Year" concludes the album with a full-bodied, lyric-less singalong while a stately arrangement with plenty of feedback drone unfolds around it. Meanwhile, the way that "Last of the Frontiersmen" begins with what can simply be called a perfect, classic rock & roll riff shows that the band can just as easily rely on the most direct of approaches for success. Archival releases of some sort were scheduled for release, but as a final bow during the band's lifetime, Truce Opium sent Dark Meat out on a well-deserved high.

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