Black Mountain (Jagujaguwar)
Black Mountain manages a pretty boss update of late 60s, early 70s-non-metal heavy-ish rock that refreshingly steers clear of the slavish genre retread, pointlessly forceful “rock” moves and tedious nyuk-nyuk pseudo-pomo ironic posturing that tends to doom most projects of this sort to minimum relevance and maximum suckitude. They explore a healthy variety of sounds and moods, without ever straining to be, y’know, eclectic. They stick mostly within the framework of the probabilities of an imagined gospel- (rather than blues-) informed Crazy Horse Tonight’s The Night / Zeppelin III (and a little ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’ tossed in for snicks) melange and the resultant tunage is very easy on the ears. Black Mountain‘s a very good front-to-back album, with but one possible drawback: some of the songs are a bit draggy , and most of the ‘grabbers’ are on what I guess would be side one of the vinyl edition. But then again, they’re authentically draggy. And who am I to come to this conclusion after, what, two-three listens? How long did it take me to get hip to Forever Changes, for instance?—JD Guckert
Tie Your Noose (Bomp!)
Eh, I don’t really need this in my life. I guess a one-man band who sounds pretty much like the Crickets as portrayed in The Buddy Holly Story is impressive on a purely academic level. Lacking that knowledge, though, I’m not impressed in any visceral sense by the air moving in front of my speakers. It sounds like this guy is just too good at what he does. One-man-band-ism if it’s about anything, should convey some sense of physical challenge, and this here don’t do that. Plus, the songs are boring and I’m listening to it on a gol-dang laptop, which doesn’t do anybody any good, either—Oliver Trask
Always read Reglar Wiglar!