Release Date: Jan 18, 2005
Record label: Jagjaguwar
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Black Mountain rises from within the Vancouver-based fiefdom of Stephen McBean, the hazy-toned singer and meandering songwriter who also heads up Pink Mountaintops. Both groups languish in a fog of psychedelia and sexual release. But while the latter opts for arty avant folk, Black Mountain lives up to its name with a heavier foundation. The self-titled debut on Jagjaguwar (its eight-song count and subdued cover art are a dark mirror to Pink Mountaintops) busts open half-lidded Velvet Underground fetishisms with squalls of Blue Cheer guitar, and further channels the heady sounds of the late '60s with a moodily dwelling organ.
Black Mountain’s self-titled debut finds singer/songwriter Stephen McBean, the man behind Pink Mountaintops and Jerk With A Bomb, exploring the rather familiar territory of late ’60s/early ’70s rock. The usual influences – Led Zeppelin, Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath – are all in evidence, along with an surprisingly heavy dose of ’60s soul. This music may be the sort that usually gets labeled as “primitive,” but McBean & Co.’s take on it is far from it: while preserving the rough-around-the-edges feel and electric energy of their influences, Black Mountain’s precise arrangements and careful execution seem scientifically calculated to produce the maximum effect.