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Blood Meridian - Kick Up The Dust

Blood Meridian, Kick Up The Dust

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE sleevenotes of Blood Meridian’s album Kick Up The Dust state that the LP was recorded by Joshua Wells and Matthew Camirand in the tall grass by the lake, neighbour to the gentle but jealous horses and under the watchful eye of the dog, Wendle.

It adds: “Under that summer sun at the rock quarry we drank and swam and for two weeks escaped the horror of city living.”

Blood Meridian is, of course, the latest project of Matthew Camirand, a singer/songwriter with a rich history in the industry. It’s comprised of Shira Blustein (organ/pianos), Joshua Wells (drums), Kevin Grant (bass) and Jeff Lee (guitar).

In spite of the idyllic setting that provided the backdrop for the recording, the album itself assumes a distinctly bluesy feel that was probably part-inspired by Camirand’s feelings about the city.

It’s at its best when keeping things upbeat melodically. Work Hard, For What? is a classic case in point, a Beck-style rant about the meaningless state of the 9 to 5 (plus overtime) that includes such choice phrases as “you can take your job and stick it up your arse”.

Camirand, it seems, is more than a little pissed off.

Opening track Your Boyfriends’ Blues unfolds amid some tingling piano chords and some shuffling drums and guitars but is a similarly downbeat tale of a troubled relationship (“I know you’ve got a man and I know he wants me dead”).

But thanks to the pleasing quality of the instrumentation, it’s nowhere near as depressing as it could be, especially since Camirand’s distinct vocals can sound really sombre during the album’s darkest moments – Good Lover and I Don’t Believe being prime examples.

Some of the bluesier numbers really do feel down and dirty, as though the skies above are slate grey and a bottle of Jim Beam is the only friend worth having.

Title track Kick Up The Dust is a really gutsy, defiant number that thrives on a boy-girl vocal trade-off and passionate lyrics such as “let’s fight and let’s fuck”.

While Soldiers of Christ is an epic slice of storytelling that’s really worth kicking back and listening to thanks to its uncompromising tale of violence and despair.

And finally Try For You unfolds under some excellent guitars and a quirky whistle that gives way into another excellent record (the boy-girl vocal melodies again working wonders).

The result is an album that’s richly eclectic even when less successful. When it’s good, it can be great; but there are just a few moments that let it down – although that shouldn’t prevent you from kicking up your own dust in seeking it out.

Track listing:

  1. Your Boyfriends’ Blues
  2. Work Hard For What
  3. Let It Come Down
  4. Most Days
  5. Soldiers Of Christ
  6. Kick Up The Dust
  7. In The Forest, Under The Moon
  8. Good Lover
  9. Try For You
  10. Get Someplace Else
  11. I Don’t Believe
  12. MacDonalds Blues
  13. Love And Laughter [Hidden Track]