The Deal: Psychedelic rock band returns with sophomore effort.
The Good: It's as if The Flaming Lips, early Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, and '70s rock got together for a big orgy and Black Mountain was the love child. It's a good mixture of short and long with tracks clocking in at everything from 1:42 to 16:41. Amber Webber sounds like Grace Slick on "Queens Will Play" while Stephen McBean conjures up his best Wayne Coyne falsetto for "Stay Free" and his best Ozzy Osbourne for "Evil Ways." The band even finds time to do their best impression of Butthole Surfers.
The Bad: The vocals can take some getting used to at times, but usually the harmonies are great and the tone is spot-on. There's so much potential the epic "Bright Lights," but the repetitive vocals in the intro wear you down and the song drones on in the middle. Just a bit of tightening would have made it a classic. I keep hearing different bands in Black Mountain's music – "Sounds like ..." – leaving me wonder if they have enough of an identity for longevity.
The Verdict: Rest up, you'll need to put in the time for this one. Eight- and 16-minute epics aren't to be taken lightly. All the buzz swirling around may be a little too much, but it's a band worth giving a listen to.