Label
Jagjaguwar

I'm not exaggerating much when I say that every local Vancouver paper and weekly I have picked up over the last year has featured an article or cover story about the Pink Mountaintops or more recently Black Mountain. More recently, the same is true of weeklies and music magazines everywhere. But that's not the fault of Black Mountain right?

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  It's actually a great album and it's hard not to love, The opening song, Modern Music hooks you with two rare delights in this day and age: a super organic sound, which is sadly a rare thing in this day and age, and an awesome group vocal track.

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  By the time the drug-drenched Zeppelin riffage of second track Don't Run Our Hearts Around comes plodding shamelessly out of the speakers you don't even care that it's almost comically anachronistic and wears its dinosaur rock influences on its sleeve. Homage is likewise paid to Sabbath and the Stones in subsequent songs. Steve McBean's highly affected voice sounds like the eighties nineties and 21st century never happened.

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  An utterly perfect yet dead simple guitar riff drives No Satisfaction, which rivals Modern Music for best song on the album and is backed up by a driving and very Velvet Underground sounding eighth-note piano and drum beat. More group vocals to continued great effect. Also noteworthy are two songs, Set Us Free and Heart of Snow for the achingly beautiful voice of Amber Webber.

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  An unexpected drum machine drives No Hits, a track that reminds me of early Elevator to Hell with its sparse and elegant production of kick drum, claps and duo vocals. Sci-fi synths and thickly distorted guitar chords which kick in midway through turn the song into an epic psychedelic journey. From hereon, the album heads into further psyche freakouts and winds its way to conclusion.

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  Very good music, but be warned - to appreciate fully (or at all), you've got to have a deep fondness in your heart for vintage drug-rock sounds from decades past.