Black Mountain Black Mountain: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition on Limited Edition Colored 2LP + Download
New 10th Anniversary 2LP-Set Complete with 8 Bonus Tracks!
Colored Copies Are Limited / Call To Confirm Colored Copies Are Still Available
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. It is a new classic rock, with reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible. 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.
Begun as the fourth album for Jerk With A Bomb, the 4-track bedroom project turned non-rock band led by Stephen McBean that preceded Black Mountain, the songs grew from skeletal sessions cut by McBean and Josh Wells and honed on the road in empty North American clubs along with Amber Webber. “We'd lay 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.’”
They cut the album at the Hive and their jam space in Vancouver, recording in “a big cement room with a tall ceiling, nice boomy acoustics, lots of natural reverb, on an 8-track reel-to-reel tape recorder.” During the sessions, these elemental first tracks found their true shape: wry and giddy, hypnotic and gracefully heavy, the dark and powerful blues, and mysterious chugging murk.
The album’s initial success saw the band take to the road, leaving their Vancouver enclave for stages across the world. “It felt like there was a real explosion of excitement at shows,” remembers McBean. “We wouldn’t write setlists, we’d just feel the energy in the room and call things out, jamming on songs like ‘No Hits’ and ‘Druganaut.’ It was a good time for live rock’n’roll: DJ booths were being transformed back to drum risers, people were digging 20 minute heady jams and there were bands like Comets On Fire and Oneida out there who we felt kinship with. I was into Faust and Amon Duul but had no idea of the scene of modern bands doing that stuff. And then we met those bands, and it was cool. And then we went on tour with Coldplay...and the adventures continued."
Their jaunt across the world as guests of perhaps the biggest band in the world is a tale for another time, perhaps: the start of Black Mountain’s next chapter, and all that followed. For now, savor the compact, spacey brilliance of that cosmic, heavy and subtle debut album, expanded now with a raft of delicious bonus tracks scavenged from the Black Mountain Army archives.
"Once you're done recording and touring a record, it's hard to listen to it again for a long time," says McBean. "But it's fun when you hear your songs in strange contexts and don't recognize them at first, like the other night I was watching some new Kevin Bacon show with a surreal orgy scene and Black Mountain playing in the background. Listening back to the first album again for the remaster, there were lots of things I dug about it, and it brought back a bunch of memories. When we made it, there were no expectations. We were hoping maybe twenty people would dig it. So everything that happened with it was really, really cool."
• 10th anniversary deluxe edition pressing with 8 bonus tracks
• Limited edition colored 2LP-set
• Foil print
• Stoughton gatefold design
• Includes album download
Black Mountain Black Mountain - 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Track Listing:
1. Modern Music
2. Don't Run Our Hearts Around
4. No Satisfaction
5. Set Us Free
6. No Hits
7. Heart Of Snow
8. Faulty Times
9. Druganaut (Extended Remix)
10. Buffalo Swan
11. Bicycle Man
12. Behind The Fall
13. Set Us Free (Demo)
14. Black Mountain (Demo)
15. No Satisfaction (UK Radio)
16. It Wasn't Arson