I bought Black Mountain’s self-titled album at Amoeba a few years back on a wonderful week long road trip whose first stop was San Francisco. While we were out of the car taking pictures of ourselves in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, some asshole did a wheelie in the parking lot that we had just five minutes ago parked in. We heard the shriek of the car only to find that a pebble had shattered one of the side windows of the old SUV we had driven from Colorado. We were pissed off because we couldn’t afford to fix the window but we were also on vacation, and more importantly, on vacation in California, so we tried to make the best of the scotch tape and garbage bags that would serve as one of the windows from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Phoenix and back to Boulder, CO. The point of the story is that Black Mountain was the soundtrack of that trip for a reason. Black Mountain is just like our dilemma. The music might seem anxious and ready to explode, but it doesn’t take itself seriously enough to ever reaching the boiling point. And because of it, I love this band like my own brother. Maybe even more, but don’t tell him that.
Black Mountain’s new one, In the Future, is more of the same great stuff, only more focused and less nervous. The sound on this album is huge and even features an acoustic ballad type tune, “Stay Free,” a song that I listened to about 30 times last week driving to the beach in Staten Island. While the album seems more produced it doesn’t lose any of the warmth that the band achieved in such a tremendous way on the first LP. Other highlights include “Wild World” and “Bright Lights,” the sixteen-minute epic horse ride through the gates of Hell. I wish I had written that song. Or could at least play it with them sometime. And while Amber, the female part in the band, sings lead on “Queens Will Play” and has a couple other parts throughout the record, my only complaint is that there isn’t enough of her. Goddamn can she sing.
So crank this record when it comes out on January 22 and head to the beach. The beach in the winter is just as, if not more, magnificent than it is in the summer.