Mt. Gigantic – Old Smiler (CD)

I had no clue what Mt. Gigantic was going to sound like before I put the disc in the player, and I feel good that I did not read the promo sheet before listening in this instance. What follows is a truly unique style of music, similar to A Silver Mt. Zion in its ability to subsume all different styles of music and create something that is their own. Bloomington, Indiana has brought yet another impressive band to prominence, and during a track like “Bring Back The Healthy”, Modest Mouse-esque vocals mix with a sixties-rock influence taints the guitar as the rest of the band create a different type of atmosphere. Specifically, the tempo of the track sounds as if someone was intentionally slowing down a record – remember when you went and put your finger down on the record and everybody sounded like they were in slow motion? That is the beginning of Mt. Gigantic’s mission to fuck with the mind of every single listener, whether it be by immediately doing the obverse of the slowing-down by distinctly going in a faster vein.

Continuing their assault on musical sensibilities while stille maintaining an immaculate musical backdrop, Mt. Gigantic uses a chorus effect to further their “Dip Into My Daddy”. Pushing forward the track with a clapping/woodblock solo, the key facet of Mt. Gigantic that wins me over the most is the sheer randomness of the band. I have no idea what to expect even ten seconds in the future from this band. “Grandpa Plays The Drums” moves in and out of an ending-movie-theme level of gravity into a military drumming and a Who meets David Bowie type of sound. By far, the most radio-friendly track, “Raechel and Her Children” comes past the half-way mark of the disc; the dancy, happier-than-goth guitars laid down mix perfect with Buggles-meets-Siouxie sets of vocals.

The penultimate track, “Hey Therre Is No Birthday Party…” is an acid-laced take on (Downtown) Julie Brown’s “The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun”, benefiting from the same dead-pan style of vocals but rapidly losing attention and spiraling off into a host of different directions. Mt. Gigantic is gigantic, ginormous even, whether it be the ambition that was needed to create a disc like “Old Smiler”, their sound, or their ability. Chances are that the disc won’t give mTV much to work with, but this is revolutionary in its spastic nature.

Top Track: Hey There Is No Birthday Party For Me In Here I Want To Punch You

Rating: 8.9/10

Mt. Gigantic – Old Smiler / 2004 Friends and Relatives Records / 7 Tracks / / / Reviewed 15 February 2005

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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