Mountains – Mountains Mountains Mountains (Thrill Jockey)
19 August 2013
Five years after it originally saw the light of day, Mountains re-release their 2008 album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates listens.
Great album sleeve. I love this album sleeve. Apparently it was created by pinning a piece of paper on the door to the entrance of their gigs and asking them to write the word. The colours of red on white are an inverted version of the album art that was originally released as a mere 500 copy run on Catsup Plate five years ago.
Does the album live up to the sleeve then? Well, it depends what you want doesn’t it? If you want simple, minimal sounds and scapes then it’s probably the thing for you. It glides along much like the Transmission 13 album Kaleidoscopio from last year and whilst I was writing this review, I found myself comepletely drifting off and doing other things. It’s a bit special to say the least and is thoroughly cleansing.
If the stories are true, The Whale Years was originally recorded in a Georgia hotel room in 2005. It’s subtle and beautiful. It has elements of drone and huge slabs of gorgeousness. Electronic effects flutter and fly like CGI butterflies and the mammal in the title slides through sumptuous deep blue waters like a gliding bird.
Nest contains some lovely guitar work over a backdrop of ebbing water and is more than effective in is tumbling simplicity. There’s a threat of huge walls of sound in Millions Of Time that never ever materialises as it borrows hints of Chariots Of Fire through a muffled, feedback of general nothingness.
The imagery created with fourth track and album closer, Hive, is quite remarkable. A busy mid-pitched bumble bee waggle dance slowly builds into the buzz that it is clearly meant to replicate when sounds, for this album at least, explode and reverberate slowly and majestically. Again, no percussion, and again, the inventiveness of the album shines through.
Thrill Jockey are initially pressing 1,000 copies of the album but the truth is that they should really be pressing many more.
The Mountains Facebook page is here.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.