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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Austin Meade 'Black Sheep' Album Review By JD Rich
Austin Meade 'Black Sheep' Album Review By JD Rich

Austin Meade

Black Sheep

Snakefarm Records

March 19, 2021

Album Review By JD Rich

Boston Rock Radio

 

 

Let’s face it- all of us, at one time or another, can relate to the feeling of being a bit of an oddity when all around us are stuck in the same rut. Whether it’s at family gatherings, at work, or just being out of synch with society in general, everybody has landed the role of being an outcast. Lone Star State native Austin Meade has taken that label and turned it into a badge of honor with his insightfully titled latest release, Black Sheep.

The LP is Meade’s personal story of feeling smothered in a small Southern town, determined to claw his way out, come hell or high water in order to follow his dreams. It’s not an angry aggressive lashing-out towards external forces that he perceives are clamping down on his zeal for life. Don’t expect nuclear riffs or earth-cracking beats. Forget the growling and scream-rock that consume many vocalists. Black Sheep is a fully-embraced realization that being out of step with one’s surroundings is neither good nor bad. It just...is. Meade chose to make that realization an opportunity for growth, not a stubborn source of hostility. I am lodging this LP under the category of chill Rock, with strong flavors of Southern-style that drives the progression. The dude is from Texas, so what else would you expect? Some may even go so far as to say Meade’s style is dangerously close to Country-Rock. I can understand that too.​

Black Sheep is the kind of music I can picture being played in stores up and down a beach boardwalk during the dog days of summer. I know, that’s a totally random scenario to conjure, so let me flesh it out for you. Think of the last time you went to a beach town during the summer. Imagine wandering through the touristy shops geared towards the laid-back casual folks who are out and about with no regard to the passage of time. In a way, it’s a micro vacation from the daily grind. This album is the ideal soundtrack for that setting. It’s unobtrusive yet catchy enough to get you humming along in no time. If you pay attention to the lyrics, you may even be able to pick up some pearls of wisdom for later contemplation. Perhaps when you’re back on the beach, lazing in the warming sun. Side note: Don’t forget the sunblock. I had an unfortunate tangle from the results of my many beach trips and ensuing sunburns. That little pearl of wisdom is from me, free of charge. You’re welcome.

Black Sheep contains three singles that were released throughout last year (a.k.a. The Year That Shall Not Be Named): “Cave In," “Dopamine Drop," and “Happier Alone.” Since the March 19th release of the full album, now there are nine additional gems to absorb in this full-length, giving more awareness into the mind of someone who’s been down the road of contradiction and compatibility. Meade offers not only solace but affirmation for those of us who have felt out of step from everyone else marching along to oblivion. It’s ok to be frustrated by useless blocks on your journey. How you overcome them is what makes a good story. It’s perfectly ok to be a (healthy-minded, good-natured) weirdo. And to that, I raise my piña colada in salute to Austin Meade and my fellow weirdo Rockers.

 

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TOUR DATES:

3/27 —​ San Antonio, TX —​ The Rustic San Antonio​

4/16 —​ Manhattan, KS —​ The Hat

4/17 — Fort Smith, AR —​ The Majestic

4/23 —​ San Marcos, TX —​ Cheatham Street Warehouse

4/24 — Plano, TX —​ Love and War​

4/30 —​ College Station, TX —​ Hurricane Harry's

5/1 —​ Tulsa, OK —​ Cain's Ballroom

5/8 —​ Oklahoma City, OK —​ Whiskey Chicks

5/14 —​ Durant, OK —​ Bubba's Brewhouse

5/15 —​ Baytown, TX —​ D's​ Irish Tavern​

5/28 —​ Dallas, TX —​ Granada Theater​

7/2 —​ Algona, IA —​ ABATE of Iowa Freedom Rally

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