It has been several weeks since I’ve been able to start thinking about other music since I’ve come into contact with Canada’s secret, Black Mountain. In the Future is their second release, which has a wild but thoroughly familiar if not fully engaging sound at their core. With a hybrid of Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, T. Rex, and strangely, X, in their sound, it’s as if all of these bands joined together to create a superband of note.
After having heard their debut release, it is readily apparent that they have improved dramatically on their second album. This is the kind of progression that you want to hear from a band, where they maintain their sound but get better at it. Black Mountain has done that with flying colors.
In the Future has ten almost perfect tracks on it, with many that will have you thinking deeply on where you might have heard them before. It’d be the influences talking, of course. The vocals are shared by band lead, Stephen McBean (also of Pink Mountaintops), and Grace Slick-like warbler, Amber Webber.
If you have heard the debut release of this band, then you already marvel at songs like “Druganaut,” with a rock ‘n’ roll / reggae sound that will have you glued, the retro-glory of “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around,” and the groovy psychedelia of “Heart of Snow,” where Amber sounds a lot like Melanie Safka (“What Have They Done to My Song, Ma,” “Brand New Key,” “Lay Down,” “The Nickel Song” – yeah, I love her). If you are unaware of Black Mountain, then this is your wakeup call. I’d suggest starting with In the Future and working backward to their debut. “Tyrants,” off of their second, is available as a free download, and is one of the better songs on the new album. But “Wucan” will have your full attention. The excellent "Druganaut" is also a free download.
Black Mountain is not only tuned in to the rock and roll ether of time, they’ve plugged into it. In the Future is already on my list of the Best of 2008. And if you haven’t heard of Black Mountain, don’t stop at this album; also pick up their self-titled debut (Black Mountain). Then let’s see where this magnificent band goes from here.
I have Bill Brooks to thank for this revelation. It’s now my responsibility to pass this onto you. The rest is up to you.