Mt. Mountain - Cosmos Terros

by Sean Hewson Rating:7 Release Date:2018-10-08
Mt. Mountain - Cosmos Terros
Mt. Mountain - Cosmos Terros

Cosmos Terros was Mt. Mountain’s debut album; it came out in 2016 but was only released in Australia (they are from Perth). They have since released a second album and have a brand new one, Golden Rise, out next month.

The album starts with the light, psychedelic guitar of Seek The Sun. It immediately sounds quite like The Black Angels in terms of the space, lightness of touch and Stephen Bailey’s voice and delivery is quite like Alex Maas’. There is also a hint of The Doors as it has that ‘long trip into the desert’ feel about it. However, at 8 minutes long and with little in the way of a vocal tune, it outstays its welcome a little bit. Diablo has a darker feel with its two-chord organ part reminding me of HP Lovecraft (the band, not the geezer). The drums are more propulsive and with bubbly synths, some slide guitar and a shorter length it is a neat piece of work.

The fuzz pedals come out for Freida, playing a snaking, Dead Meadow-like riff which turns into two clear guitar lines that are still quite snakey. The vocal melody is not particularly engaging again and it’s left to a final explosion of ensemble playing to lift the song. Pummelling bass and some tremolo are at the heart of Elevation. Stabs of Wah-wah and some urgent drumming do actually elevate it too. It’s when it’s all kicking off like this that you get the sense that Mt. Mountain might be able to take us somewhere. They are certainly skilled instrumentalists and they make a terrific sound together.

Elevation segues into Moon Desire and turns into a super-basic, lurching riff (there are always bonus marks for Fuzz Bass). Unfortunately, the pace settles down for an unremarkable verse during which you just wait for the return of the riff. There’s a short but stratospheric guitar solo at the end. It’s so rare to get someone actually playing the changes these days, it almost confused me. Pass On is the final track. Bailey sings higher here than elsewhere on the album and it really works for me. It gives the song a yearning feeling and he shows himself to have a strong voice and wide vocal range that has possibly been a bit under-used on this record. Melodically, it is also different. It reminds me of Ulrika Spacek – that artful blend of Psychedelia and melody. They leave us with a little treat with the coda, all bouncing bass line, fuzzy guitars and gathering urgency.

Cosmos Terros is a pretty solid debut album without setting the world alight. Certainly, when the band are all going for it together, they make a splendid sound together. I’m not as fond of the more sedate passages with simple organ backing and unadventurous melodies. However, there is more than enough going on (particularly on Pass On, which is something of a belter) to warrant further investigation in their catalogue.

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