8 tracks all written by BM's main man Stephen McBean. This album keeps you listening from start to finish. BM are not like any other band and each song on this classic is different, despite the anti- war, anti- pop music thread that runs, so 'tongue in cheek ', through the whole album. The album starts with Modern Music. cleaver and witty, it reminds me of Gong during the early 70's with some fine saxaphone from Masa Anza. Don't Run Our Hearts Around. A guitar epic with shades of Black Sabbath and a delightful backing vocal from Amber Webber who reminds me of Gong's female vocalist Bombaloni Yoni. Druganaut is one of the weeker track but contains some excellent Cozy Powell style drumming supporting some very good 60's early 70's style guitar work from McBean and Co. Next up is No Satisfaction " Put a flower in your hair hold hands and clang around. Everybody likes to clang around". If you can't tap your foot to this, rigor mortis has surely set in. Track 5, Set Us Free. BM get serious and political. Worthy of a place along side the best 60/70's anti Vietnam protest songs. Three quarters of the way through now and your thinking it's like no other album in your collection but like your first pint of beer you're not sure, however you get the feeling it will grow on you. Track 6,No Hits. Hawkwind Synth effects held together with a Lemmy style bass riff and lyrics suggesting the bands dislike for pop stars, their music and commercial radio. The penultimate song is Heart Of Snow and the good sounds just keep on comimg. Finally a Jah Wobble (PIL) bass riff keeps the last track, Faulty Time, tightly rapped in a general dislike for foreign policy that favours invading other countries. Can't wait for the next BM offering.
I can't be done writing a long rambling heavy worded ode to this great album.
It's damn hot in my office. This album is on my headphones and it's prefect.
The up tempo tracks have got my flip flopped feet tapping away under my desk in the breeze of a carefully positioned fan. Traces of the Stones, VU sprinkled all over these ones. No Satisfaction, Modern Music, Druganaut.
The lengthier tracks have a sugarcubed dose of Neil Young, Sabbath and 70's Pink Floyd trinkling down their throats. Space to breathe, expand, wander around the mountains then back home to roost.
Get some sunshine, get this album, a beer and joint wouldn't go amiss, whack it up, take your time with it and take it all in.
Their off shoot band The Pink Mountaintops 'Axis Of Evol' is another essential as well.
I've had this album some time and didn't like it first time around. The style was a bit wacky/psychedelic for me and with the female singer's vocals well up in the mix, they sounded like a heavy (very heavy at times) Magic Numbers. Having read some rave reviews of their new album (not yet released) I thought I'd give this one another go and lo and behold it has worked its magic (sic) on me and won me over, so much so that is playing even now as I type. Reviews below go into much greater detail than I am willing to do so suffice to say, for me, this was not one of those albums that hit you straight between the eyes, but is a definite "grower".
Black Mountain are a hard rock band from Vancouver, Canada, and this debut album is a consistent 60s-styled masterpeice. Combining Black Sabbath slow-core guitars and Queens of the Stone Age quirkiness with Kings of Leon-now-featuring-Janis Joplin vocals, the end product is altogether trippy, druggy, warped, and driving enough to rival influences both old (Sabbath, Canned Heat, Cream, Joplin) and new (QOTSA, Husker Du, Lightning Bolt, Kings of Leon). But what really sets the album apart is the spirit and feeling for the music; Black Mountain are not sleep-walking through a 60s re-creation, they are bringing forward something wholly new and unique, and entirely North American.
To call this simply a Stoner-Rock album would be doing the record a massive injustice. The album is full of intricate song writing, complex song structure & great harmonies. The Band have really made a effort to create a originally & experimental rock album, that the more you listen to it, the more you discover. Unfortunately their next two records "In the Future" & "Wilderness Heart" are a little bit of a let down, sometimes that does happen when an act create a perfect debut. You may also wish to check out The Dandy Warhol's "Come Down" & The Warlock's "Surgery", which are in a similar vein.
I bought this album in 2005 from HMV in Edinburgh after several pints of 80 Shilling. A train journey home of 1.5 hours sobered me up enough to listen to it and I thought it was awful. It went largely untouched for 9 years until yesterday when I put it on my car stereo when I realised that I'd been missing out on a masterpiece for all those years. Great songs, great playing throughout. As stated in other reviews there are echos of Sabbath and VU here. It's trippy and heavy by turns and worth the effort to get in there. Apparently they opened for Coldplay a few years ago but don't let that put you off.
I don’t listen to a lot of rock music. Straight up grizzly riff type rock music that is. So when I say that Black Mountain is the best rock album I’ve heard since Queen Of The Stone Age’s debut you should take it with a pinch of salt. I quite like Opeth in smallish doses and still think Pearl Jams debut is a classic …Ohh and after being lent a copy of Ramsteins “Senschut” I’ve become a fan of them as well .Other than that I’m strictly a Led Zep Pink Floyd only type of guy. So not a great connoisseur then. But I do know a good album when I hear one and can say unequivocally that Black Mountain is a very good album indeed. Stephen McBean -incidentally how un-rock is that name- has further explored his musical psyche on from other bands Pink Mountaintops and Jerk With A Bomb to produce a wildly adventurous reconfiguring of seventies rock with some other disparate styles thrown in for good measure. Listening to this music the obvious reference points are Led Zeppelin, early Black Sabbath, Cream, and Kings of Leon while some of the scuffed guitar riffs remind me of a band from the late 80,s called Loop while their ability to hit the core groove of a song recalls the Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500 or The Band of Susans. This band has bit more going for them in terms of diversity though. There are the striking co-vocals of Amber Webber who is able to flesh out McBeans pleasant but limited drawl. It occasionally rambles on a bit in a slightly proggy way like on “Set Us free” or “No Hits” but never becomes tiresome or resorts to frippery or tedious repetition. “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around” is a tremendous blast of clarion call guitars, centred around a supremely bombastic riff that accelerates like a deep space ship engaging its warp engines. “Druganaut” subtly adds layers of detail till it becomes a rich cocktail of body shot guitars, elaborate drum fills and chunky reverse licks. “Heart of Snow” is a slower tempo, fabricated around an acoustic strum and a lovely Webber vocal till the focus shifts to some precise military style percussion and raspy passages of electronic guitar and treated keyboards. Opener “Modern Music” is the least representative track with a looser jazz feel what with it’s squalling saxophone like a rat pinned to a blackboard and some lithe all over the place drumming. It’s the albums least anachronistic song while “Faulty Times” recalls , horror of horror The Doors one of the most over rated bands to drizzle in music history , but thanks to it’s lack of that groups pomposity and it’s rather clumsy but sincere anti war lyrics it just about succeeds . It’s still way too long though. It’s reverential as they come, facsimile style appropriating of old genres may annoy some but then one of Britain’s biggest bands, Oasis, have made a lucrative career out of that. Don’t let that put any one off. This is a very good album, featuring music that is by turns thrilling, challenging and enjoyable …with a bit of frustrating thrown in for good measure. One things for sure though. I can’t imagine Stephen McBean making the same music several albums down the road.