[sic] Magazine

Old Mexico – S/T

Jason Simon is an outsider by necessity. The Dead Meadow man just doesn’t fit into the mainstream modern world. Take his approach to making music these days; he does things simply how they used to be done. Invited to rehearse for San Francisco’s Family Folk Explosion festival with the organiser, Trans Van Santos, and jazz drummer Dave Mihaly, Simon’s material was immediately bent out of recognisable proportions and the sound impressed him so much that he got the pair back together not long after with members from their respective solo projects to form Old Mexico. No file sharing across smartphone apps here.

Yes, Simon is old world. Old Testament even, as Old Mexico harks back to the weird, windblown Americana of that 2014 project, also taking in the high and lonesome solo material of Familiar Haunts and introducing it to the wrong side of the tracks’ smoky neon, fragrant love-weed thick and heady on the stifling night air. The perfect bed-fellow then for Familiar Haunts’ jam “Wheels Will Spin”, the sleepy frontier jazz-fusion of “Past The Western Wall” moseys accordingly past prairie pueblos and statuesque cacti, heading off the map entirely with a mind-expanding freeform middle only to resurface to stoned strumming and the strains of Simon’s neo-psych drawl.

Evocative sax lends the shuffling acoustics, wind chimes and Tex-Mex twangs a deep haze, wriggling clear of the dreamy female backing vocals and soft-palette percussion in “Black Matador” to challenge the near-spoken lyrics for supremacy. A close to a strut as we’re gonna get, a classier sax part still corrals the simmering percussion into a full-blown swing on “The Old Ones” before a change in vocalist tackles the psychedelically charged, thigh-slappin’ porch-dweller “Neon Tree”. Hailing from varied backgrounds, these are travellin’ songs, blown across the vista like tumbleweed, occasionally as lightweight and aimless perhaps but just as occasionally spell-binding.

~Old Mexico is released February 22nd 2019 via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Union Zero.~