22 June 2011

Mountains For Clouds - some people buy scenery like this (2011, Count You Lucky Stars)

On a label who still keeps faith in typical but sincere and authentic, "midwest, mid-nineties emocore" with bands on it such as Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) or Football, etc., comes an inexpected EP of a band which auto-digested its own pedigree, potentially with too much ease and which plays nicely, combining  imperfection and grace and putting the listener in a sudden state of shock.

Mountains For Clouds is a wild spirited horse and if it's not sure they will break in their spontaneity and turn it in a long term successful discography. I found myself watching their youtube videos in a state of awe and admiration. Not that they are exceptional or really original, but because they have at times a kind of subtlety which is terribly rare these days, with an attitude of restraint, dynamism, searching for tension and melancholy, precision and ecstatic efficiency.

They echo in their compositions, textures, breaks and sonic explosions developed in the past by bands like Appleseed Cast, American Football, Mineral, or even Seam, The Early Day Miners and Carissa's Wierd.

Six tracks, twenty seven minutes and a lot to love: the bass, the guitar, the drums, the melodies and the loops, their energy, their sense of intricacy and an obvious delicacy, directly perceptible. Their music is both easy and deep, with several concurrent lines to follow, to focus on which rejoin and separate, with breaks and false stops and a full collection of apexes.

Strictly speaking, "Some people buy scenery like this" belongs to the post-rock category with a mostly instrumental approach, vocals on the EP are only used occasionally as emotional hymnal choral parts. If you consider their Youtube videos, and the bonus track on the tape version of the EP, they are also susceptible to develop a more song-like direction, maybe they were not ready for this part.

There is nothing weak on this EP,  there are many great ideas and invigorating passages and breaks, but they never seem to fully grasp their identity, most of the tracks are impressive but still with minor imperfections, a kind of self-contemplation of their own talent in action.

It's an EP to keep because it stands above the net, because they have this little thing most bands will never even get close. If they keep the rise with their future discography they are likely to become one of my favorite bands of the decade and confirm this bright start.


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