Monday, March 24, 2008

Tonight: Black Mountain at the Entry

Download: Black Mountain - "Tyrants"
Download: Black Mountain - "Druganaut"

For those who might need a modern day entry point to classic-rock titans such Black Sabbath, Jefferson Airplane, or Led Zeppelin, the Vancouver-based quintet Black Mountain's able brand of AOR consolidation should suffice. In The Future, released earlier this year on Jagjaguwar contains familiar patterns from the playbook of FM radio's heyday--the most prevalent examples being Sabbath's doom-portending guitar tones (evident in album-opener "Stormy High", on which Stephen McBean successfully imitates Tony Iommi), Grace Slick's piercing vibrato (pretty much any song on which Amber Webber sings), and last, but certainly not least, the power-ballads and epic-rockers that are the genre's bread and butter.

Paradoxically, In The Future's expert emulation is both its strength and weakness. For every successful interpolation like "Stormy High" or "Wucan" (with its sensual shuffle), there's "Stay Free", a track which sounds like a rejected Black Crowes b-side, and "Bright Lights", a 17-minute Godzilla-of-a-song that ultimately tests the listeners patience (and this is coming from a guy who loves ambient-based music). Still, a good impression is a good impression, and under the cloud of just the right kind of smoke, Black Mountain in concert should surely make a favorable one.

Black Mountain plays tonight at the Seventh Street Entry. Tickets are $10 for a 21+ show and can be bought at the venue.

Black Mountain MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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