Black Mountain Black Mountain

[Jagjaguwar; 2005]

Styles: classic rock, stoner rock
Others: John Wilkes Booze, boring Pink Floyd

When I go on a camping trip, I don't want to see a creek and eat a hot marshmallow. Big deal! I could have stayed at home, typed "stream" on Google Image Search and put a Hershey's Smores Bar in the microwave! And then I could've watched Alias, too!

No, when I go camping, I want to get lost. I want to be forced to eat bugs. I want to find a guy alone in the woods and invite him to join our party only to later find out from a late-night radio broadcast that he's an escaped serial killer. I want that guy to try and strangle me from behind right as I hear this information and, after an epic battle, chase me and my friends through the wilderness. I want to have to canoe off a waterfall to finally get away. And then, once we swim back to land -- exhausted, blood-stained and helpless -- I want a bear to fucking jump out of the woods and fucking eat one of my friends.

Black Mountain barely even paws at us as we float ashore.

You know how on every awesome classic rock album there's that one song that is pretty and melodic, but it just can't hold your interest so you press skip to get to the real rockin' stuff? Black Mountain's self-titled album is simply eight of those meditative classic rock songs, all plagued with the unfocused meandering and limp six-minute build-ups that real classic rockers made while yelling, "We're brilliant and godly!"

The opener, "Modern Music," is the only song that even comes near rocking potential. Complete with a drunken guitar riff, atonal saxophone farts, and dumb elephant drumming, "Modern Music" comes closest to being interesting. The problem, even on that track, is that lead singer and main Black Mountaineer Stephen McBean never lets his unique voice move beyond casual breathing. It's like hearing the most stoned guy in the world mumble his way through "Beast of Burden" right before reaching for his asthma inhaler. The lack of passion in his voice is almost an insult to this genre that thrives on over-the-top fervor.

Comets on Fire, 90 Day Men and No Doctors all released albums within the last year that proved classic rock to be relevant in today's music community. The difference between these bands and Black Mountain is that it doesn't sound like the members of Black Mountain had to crush their souls to write their songs.

So if you're making classic rock nowadays, you better have a pretty good reason. You better fucking eat my friend.

1. Modern Music
2. Don't Run Our Hearts Around
3. Druganaut
4. No Satisfaction
5. Set Us Free
6. No Hits
7. Heart of Snow
8. Faulty Times