Black Mountain: IV [Album Review]

black-mountain-iv Black Mountain
Jagjaguwar [2016]


Fire Note Says: Black Mountain return with a solid effort.

Album Review: It has been a few years since we have had a Black Mountain LP. Wilderness Heart was out in 2010, so what shape and sound does a 2016 Black Mountain take on? Well, they have welcomed keyboard-tinged psych-rock… that much is for sure. It dominates the shape and sound throughout IV.

Many of IV’s tracks are drenched with keyboard effects that conjure up smoky memories of Pink Floyd and Rush. The best of these songs are a delightful and nostalgic romp into my past collection of early synth-pop stoner rock; “Florian Saucer Attack,” “Defector,” and “Constellations” employ the effects just right. “Mothers of the Sun” and “You Can Dream” are fine too, but tend to drag on just a bit too much for me.

All this good stuff happens within the first five tracks of IV…and not much else happens after that. With the exception of the ninth track, “Crucify Me,” the second half of IV becomes mired with repetitive, languid tones and a few overly long tracks. While Stephen McBean and Amber Webber’s vocal exchanges keep the songs from veering off the road, the repetitive drone that permeates the album plays to stoned listener.

None of the tracks are awful, not by any stretch of the imagination. IV is an album you have to be in the right mood to enjoy and it would not hurt if you had some herbal assistance to get the most out of it. Since those days are long past for me, only about half of IV appealed to me.

If you are a fan of Black Mountain’s catalog, you will probably enjoy this album. For me, it would have made an excellent EP, but as an LP, it is just good.

Key Tracks: “Florian Saucer Attack” / “Defector” / “Constellations“

Artists With Similar Fire: Pink Floyd / Rush / Led Zeppelin

Black Mountain Website
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– Reviewed by Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor

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