Album review: Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar)

Album review: Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar)

Score

Canadian psych-mongers' third features a colossal peak amidst a sea of ragged, reverby goodness

This is not to suggest that [b]Vancouver[/b] hair-farmers [a]Black Mountain[/a] 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 [b]‘Let Spirits Ride’[/b], it sounds like [a]Judas Priest[/a], and it sits alongside [b]‘Don’t Run Our Hearts Around’[/b] and [b]‘Stormy High’[/b] (highlights of their eponymous debut and [b]‘In The Future’[/b] respectively) in this band’s mini-canon of total bangers. What, then, of the other nine tracks of [b]‘Wilderness Heart’[/b]? Does a singular starburst render irrelevant the reverb-heavy would-be arena rock of [b]‘Old Fangs’[/b], which is akin to Dungeons & Dragons dorks taking on [a]Cheap Trick[/a]? How about organ-heavy basement thud-rawk like the title track? Or mournful Grateful Deadian jangle-jamming like [b]‘Buried By The Blues’[/b] or [b]‘The Space Of Your Mind’[/b]? Heck, no – there’s plenty to chew on herein, and subsequently zone out.

[b]Noel Gardner[/b]

Click here to get your copy of Black Mountain’s ‘Wilderness Heart’ from Rough Trade Shops.