Pink Mountaintops - Get Back - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Pink Mountaintops - Get Back

by Steve Reynolds Rating:6 Release Date:2014-04-28

Pink Mountaintops fourth album, Get Back, is their first in five years but Stephen McBean remains the omnipresent commander in chief. Having been on hiatus for that period of time seems to have refreshed his batteries for the Mountaintops right from the starting gun.

Sounding raw and ragged on opener ‘Ambulance City’, accompanied by some raucous guitar and driving drums, it’s a brutal beginning, full of zest, power and ambition, and endemic of what McBean does best. He is bellicose on ‘The Second Summer of Love’, with a calculated, pseudo-John Lydon like vocal, barking and sneering his way through a nihilistic three-plus minutes: “1987, the second summer of love”. The music leans heavily towards indie-rock, but while it may be riddled with all the usual trappings of that genre, McBean’s swirling arrangement and delivery make it easy on the ear.

He swaggers and rolls with a sneer familiar to Gallagher Jr on ‘Through All the Worry’. It wouldn’t be out of place on one of Oasis’ early long-players. He plays the preacher on ‘Wheels’, his plaintive tirade far removed from the preceding song.

There is a distinct element of Springsteen about ‘Sixteen’, rammed with fanfares and kickhorns, AOR rock coursing through the main vein of the song. The sound of blue collar America might not be where he wants Get Back to be, but that is the impression you are given across some songs on the album.

The bonus, though, is McBean’s ability to give the songs a dressing-down. Coupled with his chameleon-like voice, this is a beguiling quality. For example, his straight-edge, smoke-laden, English-sounding vocal on the feather-ruffling ‘Shakedown’ is pertinent to what he is trying to achieve. Yes, it’s formulaic at times and has a standard format, but it has a lot of hooks and McBean’s laconic approach makes Get Back a cryptic but interesting listen.             

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