We are now at the time that mid-2000s albums are reaching ten year anniversaries… And Black Mountain’s self-titled debut slab of jammed-out rock is in just such a situation! Here it is reissued, the full album presented, as is the custom, alongside some juicy bonus tracks on 2 CDs or 2 LPs. Out on Jagjaguwar, with special indies-only coloured vinyl available!
6/10 Hayley Staff review, 19 June 2015
A decade on from ‘Black Mountain’s initial release and it seems it made a big enough impact the first time around for it to be re-released with 8 bonus tracks. Sounding like an amalgamation of something between Black Flag and Black Sabbath it’s sort of understandable why.
It’s alright - in a psych-rock revivalist, Galaxie 500 copyist sort of way. You’ve got to give it to them for attempting to revive‘70s hard rock during a time when ‘80s post-punk was every indie rock band’s preferred aesthetic, though. The Velvet Underground inspired ‘No Satisfaction’ is the best song on the record, but the prog tendencies of most of the other tracks render it annoying more than anything.
Having always liked the loud-quiet-loud dynamic of a lot of music, ‘Heart Of Snow’ triumphs with its sweet lethargy that eventually breaks into a dramatic, discordant mess; but again, it’s the prog influences that fail it. The first half of the album is better than the second, however, and the bonus tracks contain some gems: ‘Bicycle Man’ and ‘Behind The Fall’ are somewhat reminiscent of the Stooges, so I’ll take that. The acoustic-electronic oddity of ‘It Wasn’t Arson’ is also interesting, but ‘Buffalo Swan’ will test your patience: it’s an elongated, wanky droning Neil Young impression.
Maybe someone more into this kind of music should have reviewed ‘Black Mountain’, then it would have gotten the glowing review it probably deserves, but this is the sort of elaborate rock cliché that irks me.
9/10 John Lewis Customer review, 16th September 2015
I completely missed this first time around ,so am very grateful to everyone responsible for bring it to me attention 10 years later. Ironically, in the early naughties I was listening to a lot of early 70s rock- Zeppelin, Sabbath, Moby Grape, GratefulDead- and in many ways this would have fitted in well among those heavy '70s vibes. Like the iconic albums of the 70s this record that it's share of majestic rocking riffs, passionate epics and acoustic chill out tunes. However it owes as much to '90s mavericks such as Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden while the mix of male and female vocals evoke The Walkabouts and even on some tracks the Go-Betweens. Reissued with welcome bonus tracks this album had grown into something of an epic and the bonus acoustic tracks at the end are particularly enjoyable for highlighting the songwriting talents on the album.
If you like any of the above mentioned bands or even if your a fan of the more rocky side of Americana then give this album a listen or two and be sonically rewarded time after time. Certainly for me' A previously lost classic".
8/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 19th June 2015
Black Mountain's self titled debut is a mix of heavy rock and '60s psychedelia and is probably their best album. The opener, "Modern Music" is a frantic blast of saxy (yes, saxy) rock 'n' roll with shouty gang backing vocals. The most stunning piece of music on here is the heavy cosmic rock of "Don't Run Our Hearts Around" which has a rhythm section to rival Led Zeppelin and a riff straight out of Black Sabbath's top drawer. T
he rhythm and the riff both dissolve to allow beautiful melodic harmonies before blasting back in. "Druganaut" brings the '60s psychedelia and "No Satisfaction" apes the Rolling Stones '70s work in the same way Royal Trux did at their best. The album ends with a pair of epic 8-minuters of which the dynamic "Heart Of Snow" is the best and mixes heavy riffing with mournful acid folk melodies.
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