Black Mountain

Black Mountain – IV (album review)

by Woody on April 1, 2016

In twenty years when I own a spaceship and I am zipping around the universe drinking space grog and hanging with space luminaries, Black Mountain will be the house band for my ship. I know of no better way to describe Black Mountain than that fantastical image.
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IV, their first album in six years delivers the goods. It is their most diverse album since their debut and also the best in their catalog. The album is book-ended by two tunes over eight minutes. The opening track, Mothers Of The Sun, is a prog-folk epic that starts slow with Amber Webber & Stephen McBean trading verses over what is essentially one repeating note. That is all before the tune gets launched into orbit via some Zeppelin-esque riffs at around 3:30. It was their lead single and one of the best tunes they’ve ever done.

The album closes out with Space To Bakersfield. This is the tune that will close out the movie about my time in space. It is aimless slow track that wants to know if we’re listening. Yeah, we’re fucking listening. In fact, I just put IV on repeat and am drinking a bold Malbec.

In between, IV is packed with loads of goodness. Florian Saucer Attack sees Webber at the lead and is some hybrid of space garage and early 60’s rock. Line Them All Up is another Webber effort, this time a mostly acoustic effort. (Over And Over) The Chain is another proggy epic which leads right into the fantastic Crucify Me.

Can’t say enough good things about this album. Their debut was unreal. I loved Into The Future, albeit a little less than and Wilderness Heart is admittedly the least listened too of all the Black Mountains. Obviously doubts creep into your expectations, especially after a six year break. Well IV smashed those reduced expectation to bits. They’re at Lincoln Hall on May 12th and I plan on being there.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Black Mountain is here

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As I have mentioned prior, bands such as Black Mountain, Sleepy Sun and Howlin Rain scratch an itch that I picked up as a youth listening to bands in my friend’s basement. We’d leaf through his brother’s LPs and fire up anything that was loud that we thought made us cool. On their 3rd album, Wilderness Heart, Black Mountain continue to rev up the engine on their classic/stoner rock and folk mix, and I continue to think I am cool.

Rumbling riffs, synths that weave their way through the album and the dual vocals of Stephen McBean and Amber Webber make this album worthy of twisting the volume knob to the right. Back when Oz and I had our first man-date, I desribed them as mix of Deep Purple and Fleetwood Mac. With Webber stepping to the forefront on Wilderness Heart that description is as apt as ever. I for one, really enjoy her taking on a more prominent role.

Much like a burger at Kuma’s, the meat of the album is in the middle. Rollercoaster and Let Spirits Ride deliver a nice one-two punch in the middle of the album. While Rollercoaster meanders around delivering heavy riffs, Let Spirits Ride puts the foot on the gas from the onset.  Webber sounds particularly demonic here. Maybe she’s been spending some time with Christine O’Donnell’s old boyfriend.

A band lacking the talent of Black Mountain would make this come off as a parody of 70’s rock (comes close on a couple of tunes – yes I’m looking at you Radiant Hearts) but with Stephen McBean at the helm, there is little worry of that. Black Mountain continue to churn out phenomenal albums and their live performances are every bit the equal, if not better.

Black Mountain – Old Fangs

Black Mountain – The Hair Song

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What better way to follow up a post about The Black Keys? Two more of my favorite bands with “Black” in their names have released new tracks for all us PC users to right click and download. Both have albums scheduled for release on September 14th. These two bands would be a fantastic pairing on tour together.

Black Mountain’s upcoming release, Wilderness Heart, is scheduled for release on September 14th.

Black Mountain – The Hair Song (via)

The Black Angels are set to release their third album, Phosphene Dream, on September 14th.

The Black Angels – Telephone (via)

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Psychedelic Candadian rockers, Black Mountain, are set to release Wilderness Heart on September 14th and they are teasing us with a video for a new song, “Old Fangs.” Woody just caught the band at Lincoln Hall in Chicago and, based on what he heard, the new material should be outstanding.

You can pre-order the album here and get a download code that willl activate two weeks prior to its release.

Video: Black Mountain – Old Fangs

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