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4.6 out of 5 stars
13
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 December 2000
As one who loved the epic 60's and 70's rock tracks (EC, Jimmy Page, Quicksilver etc.), I found this as part of putting back together the old long-lost record collection. It is a superb album, primarily for the guitar work of, I believe, Martin Pugh, especially on "Riding on the L & N", but also because-of the wide variety of really good sounds. I am no technical expert, and of course recognise that music is strictly a personal thing, but to anyone either of that era, or into raw but fine guitar work from a tight outfit, typical of those bands who weren't megastars, but who toured the uni/college circuit/european successfully, I would commend this as an absolute classic.
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on 18 May 2000
The first time I heard this album it blew my mind. I had heard nothing from Steamhammer before and have heard nothing since, but this album has remained in the top 10 of my all time classics for over 20 years. What sounds like the studio side of the album contains some wonderful songs that are un-forgettable, solid blues with a twist, spaced out lyrics that conjure up Hobbit-like adventures, laid back accoustic melody combined with solid rock instrumentations. The pace and key changes enough to keep you glued to your seat; short well written songs that stand the test of time. Side two is an amazing contrast which is almost entirely taken up with a live medley of two classics - 'Hold That Train' and 'Ridin On The L&N'. I can hear you cringing at the prospect of having to endure yet another endless nightmare of squeeling guitar masturbation just as I did, boy was I suprised. Admittedly, there is a lot of guitar, however, it's planned, calculated, precice, elegantly flowing through east and west influences, it ebs and peaks through a solid back beat like a viper toying with it's audience. Again the pace changes to maintain your interest as does the wicked bass solo and (yes of course) the infamous drum solo which is short enough to be enjoyed without becoming a clich'e. This side is masterpiece of skilled playing, energetic frenzy and fautless timing that captivates all that a live album should, putting most albums of this style to shame. If your bored with the blues and seek something a bit harder, with a melodic edge and a deep thinking flavour, this album is a must.
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on 25 June 2009
Steamhammer were a late 60's college and pub circuit band with a cult following and their music has an enduring and haunting quality. Their live performance at the Black Prince in Bexley was a revelation. A very tight band with excellent rhythm chord progressions and distinctive vocals from man mountain Kieran White who I believe went on to join jazz fusion band Nucleus. Lead guitarist Martin Pugh should have become a rock icon - obviously influenced by Paul Kossoff but wringing sustain and tension from a Les Paul with his own fluid style. After Steamhammer he played briefly with Keith Relf post Renaissance then sadly disappeared from the music scene. Free meets Gandalf, shares a pipe of ganja in the Inn at Bree then conjures up some kickass boogie. Buy it, play it loud and savour the magic.
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on 19 January 2004
I first saw this band nearly 40 years ago. At that time I had never heard of them and went on recommendation from my brother. I have to say it was one of the best gigs I have ever experienced. I bought the LP but over the years, after which must be hundreds of plays the clicks from the numerous scratches spoilt the listening pleasure. I was gob-smacked to see Mountains was available on CD. This is one of my top 5 CDs of all time.
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on 28 September 2005
Steamhammer were one of those unlucky bands swept away by Glam rock, personnel changes and tragedies, and Mountain was their finest hour.
The band was part of the Ladbroke Grove/Notting Hill Gate scene in the early seventies and late sixties, and there are some intriguing similarities to their virtual next door neighbours, the glorious Quintessence. Both feature fiery wah-wah guitars to the fore, but what redeems Steamhammer (don't be fooled by the name, they were a surprisingly subtle band) is their tightness. This is displayed to the full on the live tracks, which brims with invention and sparkle.
The vocals on this album from Kieran White are absolutely top notch. He had a most unusual voice.. check out two stand-out studio tracks, the sombre Henry Lane and the anthemic Mountains.
Sadly, the kind of fame that could have come their way went instead to looser bands like the Faces, but this is a classic and a joy to listen to.
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on 8 January 2014
Got everything this fabulous band ever done, but this album exceeds everything.
It is utterly brilliant, musicianship etc!
Walking down the road is one of the best racks you'll ever hear in your life!
Do yourself a favour and treat your ears to all four albums.
They'll knock your socks off!
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on 13 January 2012
Time for a reality check!. I have been quite a fan of Steamhammer through the years, and I championed their underrated output against much opposition. Mountains is a fine example of its time, but it never was the blues rock masterpiece claimed by the eccentric sleeve notes. "I Wouldn't Have Thought" and the title track are cracking blues rock songs, and "Walking Down The Road" stands out as well, but the other studio cuts are pretty mundane. Like many of the other reviewers, I was initially blown away by the live work-out given to "Riding On The L&N/Hold That Train", but at the time there were many bands doing similar things and doing them better - Steve Davey's bass work is adequate but not brilliant. Ultimately, the album can be assessed by the fact that it was (in all acceptable terms) Steamhammer's swansong, and by the fact that the record company failed to record(?)/never issued more of the live performance at the Lyceum, suggesting that it may not all have been of the same standard. Accept this work as a good example of the music scene at the time, but don't let the notion of the lost classic fool you into believing that this is more than it actually is. It failed to sell for a reason.
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on 8 February 2009
A studio album coupled with two live tracks from what was probably the best era for this fine band. Some gritty vocals from Kieran White and blistering blues rock to support him. This album was produced in 1970 and although not typical followed in the wake of bands like John Mayalls bluesbreakers and the yardbirds although this has a lot more raw edges and sounds ahead of its time. You gotta play it loud, this album kicks.
If you really like blues rock played as it should be then you will love this album. My mrs turns down the volume, must be good!!!
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on 25 July 2014
Beautiful album. Found these guys at the recommendation of GRAVEYARD who cite them as a massive influence. Can't believe I've gone so long without hearing them. Subtle yet powerful. Splendid!
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on 4 June 2015
Wonderful reissue again from repertoire top quality pressing
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