A clusterfuck of heaviness in the past couple of days – Endless Boogie’s Primavera jam, the Groundhogs box set, finally hearing the bonus seven-inch tracks from Magic Lantern’s “Platoon”, news that Eternal Tapestry have signed to Thrill Jockey – reminded me to write about Mount Carmel’s self-titled on Siltbreeze.

A clusterfuck of heaviness in the past couple of days – Endless Boogie’s Primavera jam, the Groundhogs box set, finally hearing the bonus seven-inch tracks from Magic Lantern’s “Platoon”, news that Eternal Tapestry have signed to Thrill Jockey – reminded me to write about Mount Carmel’s self-titled on Siltbreeze.



The whiff of denim on patchouli hangs heavy here, since this Columbus Ohio power trio seem to have mastered retro blues-rock with an accuracy that’s uncanny, as well as pretty crude. I know records are often described as sounding like they could’ve come out in 1971, or whatever. But “Mount Carmel” really, really sounds like it was made in 1971 – just after the group had finished a tour with the Edgar Broughton Band, maybe.

Nothing wrong with that, and Mount Carmel certainly attack potential absurdities with vigour: what else should the penultimate track do but degenerate into an extended drum solo? It’s the songs that precede it, though – none better than the opening “Livin’ Like I Wanna” (and how’s that for a historically precise title?) – that really do the business, pitched partway between Blue Cheer and something dank and wasted in the corner of a provincial British student union, circa 1970.

Not one, perhaps, for everyone, but bracing for those of us of a certain ideological hair length. It occurs to me, too, that Mount Carmel are one of those new psych-related bands who would’ve also fitted in with the stoner rock scene that flourished about a decade ago. Add a tad more Sabbath, tone down some of the noodle, and you’re not too far away from something that sounds like Nebula. Which, again, is fine by me. Here’s the Mount Carmel Myspace. Enjoy!