Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Black Mountain - In The Future

Black Mountain
In The Future
(01.2007, Jagjaguwar)
Verdict: Can I get a heeeyyyllll yeeahhh?!

If Forest Gospel still gave numerical ratings, I would have slapped a ten on this faster than Shakira can shake her hips. Last year Mr. Thistle dubbed Random Spirit Lover his album that was impossible to not air guitar to. I always thought it impossible that an album could physically force you to air guitar without thinking until In The Future blew my mind and sent my arms flailing in the air on first listen and has not stopped moving them after at least fifteen repeats. Even now as I listen to the album to write the review I am having a hard time keeping my fingers on the keyboard and not on my imaginary guitar strings or drum sticks. Black Mountain put on one of the best live shows I have ever seen last year which had a similar effect on the viewers. No one could hold still as they listened to Black Mountain take classic rock, obliterate it, rearrange it, and finally make it feel like it belongs in the present. Even the most staunch of passive viewers head banged and wiggled as if possessed. In The Future takes the good from previous Black Mountain releases, heavily polishes it and makes it epic. Especially in the eight minute "Tyrants" that has at least four movements, ranging from some of the most mellow stretches of the album to one of the most intense build ups. The album rocks and lulls, making it much more appealing as an album rather than individual tracks. In "Queens Will Play" the vocal and ambient laden build up lasts over four minutes for an ending thirty second jam. This is the kind of album that when I am listening to it a track will come on and I will say "I love this track, this is the best track on the album" and then when the song ends and the new one starts I say "I love this track, this is the best track of the album." I was heavily anticipating In The Future since seeing them last year at Kilby and am now desperately waiting for them to come back to Salt Lake City for an encore rocking performance of In The Future.


Black Mountain - "Tyrants"


Spruce Lee said...

I really like this album, but does it sound any less like an old man's album than Okkervil River?

Wooly Mammal said...

Of course you can get a heeeyyyllll yeeahhh!!!!

Sassigrass said...

I don't think so. Although Black Mountain resembles the classic rock that may be found in most dad's collections, I don't believe that many dad's would choose to search something like In The Future out now. I think most dad's hold on to their classic rock as memorabilia and for nostlgia purposes. It seems like most middle agers that think they are hip with the indie kids nowadays listen to things like Arcade Fire, Fiest, The Decemberists and Okkervil River - mellow pop with indie flavoring. That's just how I see it, so when I label something as "dad rock" it refers to things in that corner of music.

Anonymous said...

and belle and sebastian

spruce lee said...

OK, i think I'm clear on the "dad rock" label, but I wonder if it has as much to do with the qualities of the music as it does with the media attention to it. I don't think the crowd we are talking about is really 'searching' for any albums, so I bet if you put the hype of Arcade Fire, Fiest, or The Decemberists, etc. behind this album it would be just as popular with that crowd because they wouldn't have to search for it. And as you mention, a lot of their motivation is being hip with the kids, if Black Mountain ever becomes as hip with the kids as those bands, they will become hip with it too. On the other hand, there is indie music that is indie because it is less accessible (I think Black Mountains first album is more along those lines), but I think this album is just as accessible to the "dad rock" crowd as Okkervil River, and maybe more. But what do I know, I'm probably old enough to be a member of the "dad rock" crowd by now. Thanks for the birthday wish.

Sassigrass said...


wooly mammal said...

Did Sassigrass just loose an argument?