Mountains & Rainbows - Mountains & Rainbows - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Mountains & Rainbows - Mountains & Rainbows

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:10 Release Date:2016-06-09

Mountains and Rainbows latest “Particles” opens with a long chugging intro before the squawking vocals asking, “Can you listen to the radio? Turn your television off, man!” This track, “AM 530,” gets in you in the mood for eighteen tracks of unpredictable rock. 

Psychedelic cacophony with a garage rock lo-fi live feel, this double album overflows with sneering ethos. The vocals sound like David Byrne or Devo's Mark Mothersberg in that tremulous frantic style, and there's also a big VU (maybe hyper-Velvets would be more appropriate) musical vibe happening. It exists at the place where punk meets jazz and art in that rarefied intersection where instrumental experimentation, free form jamming, and the precision weave of sounds come together. Sure, there are some accidents in such a busy juncture, but creating art can sometimes be a violent thing.

There are plenty of highlights starting with “Treat Your Mind,” a stuttering pogo bop of sixties garage joy complete with call and response band interplay, and “Dad Rock!” is another jam freak-out sure to shake you involuntarily. “Visions of Sanity” has a trebly riff, feedback, and some shouts into the void. “See How They Run” is a Velvets-on-speed number with an awesome guitar break while “I’m a Peaceful Man” has a mountain country hoedown sound with twangy vocals that deliver lyrics about “heartache and pain” that fit the bill equally well. It’s funny as hell. “Sycamour Tree” has some Summer of Love guitar interplay snaking below the surface that underscores how stunningly tight they are while simultaneously keeping things loose and distorted, like garage jazz. Is that a thing? Additionally, there are four numbers titled “Beach Jam;” chill pieces that provide brief respite from the onslaught.

Most of the songs are short and to the point in the finest punk tradition, but two songs push things further, the title track (over seven minutes) and “Fancies,” which is nearly eleven minutes in length. It’s much too self-indulgent for me, with plenty of noise experimentation and minimal structure (or vocals). It’s essentially an eleven-minute rambling instrumental. Then again, I did reference “jazz” not once, but twice. Consider this thrice.  

My guess is that you’re almost certain to find something to enjoy on this stuffed album. It’s an album you might have to be in the mood for, but just the same, this is pretty much why rock is art. 

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