Very few bands have what it takes to leaven their stoner rock with equal parts melody and exploratory noise. Their exhilarating fourth album, Feathers, is the DC-based group's best album by far, thanks in no small part to the addition of second guitarist Cory Shane. Half the album is so good–and so eclectic–it brings to mind the bass-heavy assault of classic Blue Cheer and Sabbath, the sweet confectioner's space-pop of Jack Drag and Brian Jonestown Massacre, and the locked groove swagger of Comets on Fire and Black Mountain. Dead Meadow aren't afraid to melt genre conventions; "at Her Open Door," for instance, is very Zepp-y but trippy and sugar-y sweet—almost like Bumble Puppy, but way better. "Stacy's Song" is levitating and beautiful, a reverb-saturated tune that showcases singer-guitarist Jason Simon's distinctive vocals.
An interesting and slightly unexpected release on the Brian Jonestown Massacre's label – doubtless because Dead Meadow opened for that band, whose Anton Newcombe ended up providing the tapes – Got Live if You Want It! is, indeed, a show recording from a date in early 2002. The combination of sludge, drift and, in Jason Simon's singing, a surprisingly easy-to-grasp melodicism that defines the group stands out pretty well here, and, while long-time fans might debate the virtues of these takes with the studio ones, this is definitely a great starting point for those new to the group.
I do remember the re-enactment of the events that led up to the Jonestown Massacre but I also remembered thinking that the re-enactments were additional with the documentary interviews with the real characters like survivor and defector, Vernon Gosney, concerned relative Sherwin Harris, and the real Stephan Gandhi Jones, Jim and Marceline's only son who survived by playing on the basketball team of Jonestown.