(Jag Jaguwar-083, 2006)

From Aural Innovations #36 (May 2007)

I've yet to hear their debut or family-band Black Mountain. This is the first record I've bought as a result of hearing it on the recordshop's PA. True, it's closer to the length of an EP, especially if you chuck out the expendable plodding "Slaves" (well, it's not bad, as plodding desert-psyche goes), but the remaining six tunes are fabulously classic. The lyrics center around a general theme of good vs. evil and a dark hippy/folk-psyche christian apolcalypse, inevitably remeniscent of Velvets at times
"Comas" is a mellow close-miked crooning with acoustic fret-drags, imbued with intense psychedelic catharsis. The singer's strained throaty breathy style grows on me, sometimes more like a nasally Sky Saxon/Van Morrison type whine. "Cold Criminals" is an awesome romper w/thick wobbly '60s bass-line over guitar-static and american-indian tom-tom/shaker rhythm. "New Drug Queens" - an excellent heavy driver w/fuzz guitar, lightly-treated vox. (What contemporary psyche album would be complete without a Neu!-type rythm? Not many...)
Again, "Slaves" is a decent tune for the right mood, but dry in comparison to the rest of these. "Plastic Man, You're the Devil" is yet another epically exhillarating acoustic anthem. We certainly peak with "Lord, Let Us Shine", a devastating folk-psyche gospel with the most rousing chant of a chorus, the beauty of the phased guitar and chorale blending w/a basic drum-machine in ecstatic rhythm. Wow.
"How We Can Get Free" is the come-down, closing on an even sadder acoustic note, singer's vocals becoming as starkly strained as that of Klaus Dinger's on his own ballads.
Refreshing...and see again the above adjectives to recap.

Visit the band on the web at:

Reviewed by Chuck

Click your browser's BACK button to return to the previous page.
Or CLICK HERE to return to the main Aural Innovations page.