“One, two, three, another pop explosion. One, two, three, another hit recording. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, TEN!” Ten years since Black Mountain’s S/T album was released. To celebrate, Jagjaguwar has released a deluxe 2LP anniversary edition. This still stands as one of my favorite rock albums – no frills, just straight jams. “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around” kills me every time and makes me jump around like a drunken idiot (even when not drunk). And live? A beastly force to be reckoned with. Check out a track and read the album’s story below. This week’s in-stocks are listed right below that. Aaaaaaand, if you like rock and its various iterations, our used bins are bursting with hundreds of new arrivals of classic rock, alt rock, pop rock, prog and other riff-filled goodies.
Black Mountain – S/T Deluxe 2LP:
Listen: “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around”
“It’s only a cliché because it’s true, but the greatest records are timeless. Black Mountain’s self-titled debut album is just such a record, its roots leading twisting paths back into the past, while always sounding like ‘now’, like a future still to come. The work of a small collective of musicians operating from Vancouver, Canada, far from any industry buzz but firmly in the eye of their own storm of creativity, Black Mountain’s debut album was, of course, a beginning, but it also marked an ending for Jerk With A Bomb, the group that preceded Black Mountain.
‘Some of us came from the punk scene, but sonically we weren’t a punk band.’ says bandleader Stephen McBean, of the group who, over their three-album lifespan, gathered together three future soldiers in the Black Mountain Army: Joshua Wells, Amber Webber and McBean. ‘We didn’t fit in – round pegs or square holes. We took the new name, and everything fell into place.’
Begun as the fourth Jerk With A Bomb album, Black Mountain’s debut grew from skeletal sessions cut by McBean and Wells. ‘We laid down the bed tracks, the guitars and drums,’ remembers McBean. ‘Matt [Camirand, bass] joined, and we changed the band name after a dream of how life could be different in the B section between Black Flag and Black Sabbath. Josh’s roommate Jeremy [Schmidt, keys] was lurking about. We asked him if he wanted to add some synth bleeps or whatever. He came back with all these orchestrated keyboard parts, and we said, ‘Oh, you should probably join the band now.”’
McBean had been sending Jerk With A Bomb recordings to Chris Swanson of Jagjaguwar since their second album. ‘They were one of the few labels that got back to us, though they said they weren’t looking for new bands,’ says McBean. But a slow avalanche of further McBean recordings changed their mind; the label even signed Black Mountain’s sister group, Pink Mountaintops, whose debut album preceded Black Mountain’s by six months. ‘The advance for recording and mastering Black Mountain was a thousand bucks,’ says McBean. ‘And Jagjaguwar said if we sold 3,000 records, that would be good. We were, like, ‘Right on!’ Because Jerk With A Bomb had sold about twelve records.’
They cut the album at the Hive in Vancouver, recording in ‘a big cement room with a tall ceiling, nice boomy acoustics, lots of natural reverb,’ remembers McBean, ‘on an 8-track reel-to-reel tape recorder.’ During the sessions, these elemental first Black Mountain tracks found their true shape: the wry, giddy shuffle of ‘Modern Music,’ with its Roxy Music sax and Velvets-y chug; the epic, sky-staring riffage of ‘Don’t Run Our Hearts Around;’ the hypnotic, gracefully heavy groove of ‘Druganaut;’ the joyful rush of ‘No Satisfaction;’ the dark, powerful blues of ‘Set Us Free;’ the mysterious murk of ‘No Hits.’ Here was a new classic rock, its reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible.” -Jagjaguwar
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Read moreThis Just In: Black Mountain