Wild Mercury Sound

The Black Mountain Army

John Mulvey

Just a quick post today, since I'm waiting for a couple of reports on South By Southwest to be filed by Uncut writers. In the meantime, I've been listening to some new stuff from the Vancouver family of bands centred around Black Mountain.

Black Mountain's debut album came out in 2005, a super-addictive, psychedelic blend of Sabbath, Neil, the Velvets and plenty of other staples found in every good rockist record collection. Since then, we've enjoyed a steady stream of good stuff from bandmembers in various guises: thorny country-rock from Blood Meridian; oscillating prog ambience from Sinoia Caves; jittery backwoods space-pop-ramalam, whatever that means, from Pink Mountaintops.

Like Black Mountain, the Pink Mountaintops are helmed by Stephen McBean, and they have a new single called "Single Life" which you can hear at their Myspace site: cheap, overdriven guitars, a wheezing organ, a beat that's faster than is probably healthy, a general drugs-in-the garage vibe indebted to the third Velvets album. It's cool.

Lightning Dust, meanwhile, are the latest offshoot, fronted by Black Mountain harmony singer Amber Webber. Their debut album is due in the summer, but there are three tunes playing right now on their Myspace, which are very promising. There's a bit of an "On The Beach" meets Mazzy Star feel to these stark tunes, though Webber reminds me of Lucinda Williams and a slightly gothic Patti Smith in places, too. "Castles And Caves" is marvellous, I think.

Belated news from South By Southwest tomorrow, all being well. See you then.


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