Black Mountain – Druganaut (CD)

The album’s cover looks like it comes right out of the sixties, which makes sense since the band plays the closest thing to 60s rock that has came out in the last decade or so. The tracks are Shaharazad-story long, as the first two (Druganaut and Buffalo Swan) tracks almost break twenty minutes in runtime on their own. The extension of simple arrangements, such as a three or four note guitar or bass line for twenty and thirty seconds create a primeval flow that really feed in well to the different movements of “Buffalo Swan”. “Buffalo Swan” is really a number of tracks that have been put together under the all-encompassing name; the only thing that keeps everything together is the band’s desire to create the most catchy music possible.

Aside from the immaculate mastering and production on “Druganaut”, there is nothing that really marks the style of music that Black Mountain plays as being specifically from any period newer than the era they find themselves influenced by. The influence breaks down slightly during the indie-rock of “No Satisfaction”, which uses a low-key (for Black Mountain) piano/maraca dichotomy to push the track further. The song seems almost as if it should have been kept as a secret track rather than seeing the light of day, but the greater camaraderie of this “No Satisfaction” does show a different side to the band. Pretty much the only thing that holds Black Mountain back in the slightest is the same thing that was such a boon – there are times, especially during the middle of “Druganaut” that the same repetitions begin to lose some of their luster. It is when Black Mountain throws in that little extra work on the track that listeners can fully enjoy the track; when the bongos begin to play a large role during “Druganaut”, it allows the band to take a direction that was previously unavailable.

Black Mountain do play a brand of music that is almost completely influenced by the bands of old – bands like the Rolling Stones, The Stooges and The MC5 but their ability and openness in playing that style of music show a leaning toward a more-inclusive, ersatz brand of rock. This is only an EP, but with nearly thirty minutes of music on it, one can get a fairly good idea of what it is that Black Mountain is trying to do with their music. The disc seems to cover all the bases, so it remains to be seen whether Black Mountain could fill a full-length with the same interesting material that Druganaut has in droves.

Top Track: Buffalo Swan

Rating: 6.2/10

Black Mountain – Druganaut / 2005 Jagjaguwar / 4 Tracks / http://www.jagjaguwar.com / Reviewed 19 July 2005

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