It’s hard to believe that it’s already been ten years since Black Mountain released their eponymous debut full-length. The album was applauded by many and not as well-received by others. But a decade later, most would agree Black Mountain was a landmark album.
Black Mountain wasn’t the only album released that year that resonated with ’70s- and ’80s-style arena roll ‘n roll. Comets on Fire with Blue Cathedral, 90 Day Men’s Panda Park, and My Morning Jacket with It Still Moves and later Z were other retro-oriented rock albums that had pundits exuberantly applauding the return of rock. However, other than MMJ, Black Mountain has achieved a lasting staying power and its fanbase continues to grow.
To celebrate the release of this monumental record, Black Mountain and Jagjaguwar have teamed up to re-release Black Mountain. Actually, a double LP, deluxe edition is being released that includes the original 8 songs, a couple of demos, a remix, songs only released as part of split singles, and four previously unreleased songs.
Taking another listen (or maybe its your first) of Black Mountain reveals why the album feels timeless and is worthy to be in any rock ‘n roll fan’s collectdion. “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around” pointed to Black Sabbath, and the song’s cathartic, rhythm-driven sound would end up being the defining trademark of Black Mountain. The epic and zany “Druganaut” feels like it was written yesterday, and the remix version breathes new life to the outstanding song. “No Satisfaction” resonates of The Rolling Stones, and it might be the b-side to the Brit legends’ “Satisfaction”.
“Set Us Free” is the one song that blew my mind then and continues to this day. The light strums of the guitar and the slow building approach echoes of Lynyrd Skynyrd yet it is more anthemic. The demo version on the Double LP it’s a stripped down, more intimate burner. Just glorious.
Other bonus tracks on the album include “Buffalo Swan”, “Bicycle Man”, “Behind the Fall”, and the crushing “Black Mountain”. The first two songs were found on the Druganaut 12″. In hearing some of this unreleased and limited released songs, it makes you wonder why the band didn’t release an EP between Black Mountain and their cataclysmic In The Future. That said, the 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is a treat, reminding of us of the greatness of Black Mountain the band and the record.
As refresher, Black Mountain are Stephen McBean (guitar/vocals); Amber Webber (vocals); Jeremy Schmidt (keyboards); Arjan Miranda (bass, keyboards); and Joshua Wells (drums/keys).
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