Album: Black Mountain <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Black Mountain, JAGJAGUWAR
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The Independent Culture

"We can't stand your modern music/ We feel afflicted," claim Canadian quintet Black Mountain on the opening track of this eponymous debut, a mildly aggressive garage-rock exercise with saxophone squawking through its middle-eight. Whether this is an indication of the music that afflicts them, or the music with which they'd replace the affliction, isn't clear, but in any case it's not really representative of the rest of the album, which tacks between the thick, chunky boogie-riff style of Kings of Leon or early Led Zep on "Don't Run Our Hearts Around", Velvets-style primitive chugalong on "No Satisfaction", and a leaner, more psychedelic sound on the anti-war song "Faulty Times" and the self-explanatory "Druganaut", where the combined male and female vocals recall Jefferson Airplane. "Set Us Free" features twin lead guitars worrying away at each other like Steve Stills and Neil Young in Buffalo Springfield. Lyrically, the desire to "Find a better place/ And quit this whole damn race" is a recurrent theme throughout the album, with a return to the original punk-jazz afflictions of "Modern Music" in "No Hits", where their "holler[s] against the pop star dream" are interrupted again by excitable sax and synth squeals. A diverse, fascinating debut.

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