Album: Black Mountain

In the Future (Jagjaguwar)
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The Independent Culture

Black Mountain's self-titled debut from 2005 was a genuine oddity, its mix of garage psychedelia, stoner-rock and avant-jazz sax-squawking rendering the Canadian quintet impervious to pigeonholing: it could have slotted comfortably into several genres.

Sadly, such indeterminacies have been ruthlessly excised from this follow-up, leaving just the core Led Zep stylings and satanic imagery that ultimately climax in the 17-minute-long "Bright Lights", a plodding affirmation of "the night and all the witchery", which lapses into a slough of miasmic ponderousness around the fifth minute, and never re-emerges.

Click the arrow to listen to a clip of Black Mountain's song 'Tyrant'.

The folksy libertarian anthem "Stay Free" and the lengthy political condemnation "Tyrants" ("You're the plague of existence", etc) aside, the lyrics are stuffed with enough demons, hellhounds, witchy children and "haunted ones howling in your head" to populate an Anne Rice novel; but the attractions of their psych-rock organ and guitar riffs, and of Amber Webber's vocal similarities to Grace Slick, are limited by the shortfall in diversity. Weirdest image: "Blood crawls across the cancer", a lose/lose situation, by the sound of it.

Download this: 'Wucan', 'Stay Free', 'Evil Ways'