September 13, 2010
Album review: Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar)
Canadian psych-mongers' third features a colossal peak amidst a sea of ragged, reverby goodness
7 / 10
This is not to suggest that Vancouver hair-farmers Black Mountain are inconsistent – largely because they’re not – but this album, like their previous two, has one moment of utterly triumphant rock Valhalla amidst a bunch of pretty good retro-soaked poses. This time, the pick of the crop is called ‘Let Spirits Ride’, it sounds like Judas Priest, and it sits alongside ‘Don’t Run Our Hearts Around’ and ‘Stormy High’ (highlights of their eponymous debut and ‘In The Future’ respectively) in this band’s mini-canon of total bangers. What, then, of the other nine tracks of ‘Wilderness Heart’? Does a singular starburst render irrelevant the reverb-heavy would-be arena rock of ‘Old Fangs’, which is akin to Dungeons & Dragons dorks taking on Cheap Trick? How about organ-heavy basement thud-rawk like the title track? Or mournful Grateful Deadian jangle-jamming like ‘Buried By The Blues’ or ‘The Space Of Your Mind’? Heck, no – there’s plenty to chew on herein, and subsequently zone out.
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