Jason Simon - Jason Simon 12 inch
Jason Simon, the guitarist and voice behind meaty neo-psychedelic stoner rockers Dead Meadow, has more in his record collection than old Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer records. His eponymous solo debut, a bare-bones collection of acoustic dirges and poignant country-tinged folk tunes, seems cut from the same era, but with a far gentler hand. The appropriately titled opener, "Let's Begin," will be the litmus test for most listeners, as its languid, dreamlike cadence provides the foundation for what's to come. Simon's skillful blend of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's balladry, 16 Horsepower's torrential brimstone, Bert Jansch's intricate guitar work, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy's loose delivery works best on apocalyptic tumbleweed epics like "The Dust Does Blow" and "A House Up on the Hill," both of which manage to sound visceral and urgent despite their molasses-fueled trajectory. Armed with nothing but his reedy voice, guitar, and the occasional harmonium, bulbul tarang (Indian banjo), and backing vocal, Simon makes a big sound out of very little, and much like contemporaries Faun Fables, Espers, and Woven Hand, it's a sound that's both achingly familiar and alarmingly wild.