This is one of those reviews I wrote several months ago, for the print edition of Blurt, which came out a few weeks ago (and looks really nice, I think…I’ve got a little interview with Kelley Stoltz and a longer one with Nic Offer from !!! in it, as well as this review). The Black Mountain piece is up on the website now, a pretty good review, if I do say so myself, for a really good record.
Here’s how I started:
“Monstrous riffs, molten sludge, the bludgeoning weight of guitar overload-those have always been Stephen McBean's stock in trade, and never more so than on third Black Mountain full-length Wilderness Heart. Yet where most of Black Mountain's 1960s forebears were all-male affairs, this band has Amber Wells to shake up the stereotype. Just listen to how her warm, vibrato-laced contralto casts a witchy spell over the title track, making its head-thudding guitars, its rampaging drums into something wilder, sweeter and altogether more unpredictable. ‘Old Fangs,’ too, has the palm-muted, ‘vette-on-blocks stomp of classic Sabbath, yet synths and Wells' singing brings its old-style menace into the modern era.”
The rest is here.
“The Hair Song”
I finished transcribing my Jon Spencer tape yesterday, and I might take a crack at writing the piece today. If I don’t screw it up somehow, it should be excellent. We spent a lot of time talking about his links to hip hop and interest in remixes circa Orange and Orange Experimental Remixes. Also, weirdly, we were up in Hanover NH at around the same time in the early 1980s, he finishing up at Hanover High and me at Dartmouth; I’m pretty sure my roommate Helen had a Professor Spencer for organic chemistry, who, in retrospect, had to be his father.…Anyway, he’s an interesting guy, no question, can’t wait to get to it.
I’m also getting ready to review this Psychedelic Aliens reissue, which is pretty great…it’s more funk/soul from 1970s Ghana, some beautifully laid-back Booker-T-ish grooves up front and a load of truly crazy percussion in the later (long gone missing, recently re-located) singles that round out the disc.
That’s it for now, back to work.