Friday, March 13, 2009

Mountains - Mountains, Mountains, Mountains

Mountains, Mountains, Mountains
(10.2008, Catsup Plate)
RIYL = Belong, Tim Hecker, amplified butterfly wings?

I know that Mountains have already followed up this limited edition LP with another full length on Thrill Jockey, but just hold your horses – I’m only just getting into this Mountains album. And it’s a good one too. For the uninitiated, Mountains dwell in the realm of drone music marked by warmth and beauty; the realm filled with textures that glitter like poorly hidden treasures amidst a sea of…well, slightly less vibrant treasures. Yep, with Mountains it’s pretty much all treasure, like taking a tin scoop to your favourite candy bins at the grocer’s. On Mountains cubed, Catsup Plate makes a home for four delicious tracks of Mountains goodness that’s euphoric from the beginning of side A to the end of side B. There is no room for any meandering here, no room for playful filler, only thick layers of the trenchant feedback of amped butterfly wings. Wow: that right there was one of my most ridiculous descriptions to date (and that is saying something, coming from me). We’ll let it ride though, because Mountains, Mountains, Mountains is that ridiculous in its gooey, treasurey goodness. There are only four tracks, so lets go one by one. Side A starts with “The Whale Years,” a infinitely layered 12+ minute track that reels in various pitches of white noise that are cluttered with electronic chirps and laconic guitars. While the mood stays fairly consistent and dreamy, the opening track never fails to evolve, slowly panning a vivid, rolling seascape. The following track, “Nest,” is about half the length of its predecessor and anchors itself to a repetitive acoustic guitar motif that reminiscent of a James Blackshaw Piece. The guitar is backed by additional layers that bring an understated tension to the track as it drifts forward. Side B follows the pattern of song lengths in reverse: the shorter track, “Millions of Time,” starts things off with a much deeper drone loop that sounds like a recording made during a steamy, midsummer rain shower on some tropical island. From there Mountains push Jurassic synthetic swells into the mix to pine out a melodic direction that is just far enough away as to not impose. Then the closer, “Hive,” turns everything up a notch with an extended drone that is much more cluttered and nervous, fluttering by until it breaks down into a series of hallow notes surrounded by a swirl of static wind. Definitely a but more apocalyptic then the previous pieces, if I can even use the term ‘apocalyptic’ in conjunction with Mountains sound. So yeah, Choral is out now as well, and it is great, but if you find yourself with Mountains, Mountains, Mountains in your hands, don’t hesitate to snatch it as quickly as possible.

-Lil' Thistle

Mountains on Myspace


Justin Snow said...

I'd love to be wandering around some record shop and find a copy of this. It's the one Mountains record I don't have. Sounds like it's just as good as the rest, except not as good as Choral. That record is flat out astounding.

bodo said...

Hey great blog, I dig your hypermetaphorical writing style. Thanks for turning me on!