Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekly fun time random album reviews

OK, so as mentioned in my last post i was hungry for some topics to write about. I got a couple of suggestions and i will most definitely honor them over the next while but what I'm toying with right now is the idea of choosing an album at random whether new or old, listening to it and then offering up my impressions of it. I'd like to try this maybe once a week and probably will not limit myself to just albums. There are so many movies out there that I've not watched so maybe I'll try to offer some words on random movies once a week as well, time permitting. But let's hop along to my first order of business, the random iTunes album pick of the week. As i write this i have no idea what it's going to be. I'm leaving that up to the shuffle album function this time, but please feel free to suggest an album or movie you'd like for me to talk about. Like i said, i hope for this to be a weekly thing which means many more postings from me along with the usual fare.

Alright then. And this weeks winner is...........
Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love
Well, i thought this was going to be an easy one. Luckily this is an album i have an immediate recognition of. Having often listened to Vancouver's Pink Mountaintops three albums including this 2009 release i have my opinions, likes, distastes and otherwise. Putting it into words is another thing altogether as i feel that Outside Love though very good in its own right, is not a whole lot different than anything else the band has done. And don't get me wrong, what the band does is competent and definitely worth the listen if you're interested in shoe-gazey hazy stoner rock. But like with any good joint and a handful of sedatives i am rendered a bit speechless when it comes to whipping up a paragraph or two about this album. If anything Outside Love makes me feel kind of puddle-like, similar to that feeling about a half an hour after taking a couple grams of mushrooms, just before you peak and want to climb trees or fly, when you feel like your limbs are sliding off as if the joints connecting them to your body were made of melting butter and words though amazing in your head, end up releasing from your mouth in some kind of crazy alien dialect. This is music for the stoned, the laze-a-bouts and the melted. To some it may be fuck music and to others it may be music to rear your kids to, but for me i can only take so much of Stephen McBeans blue fog stew music for so long until i need a pick me up. 
That being said there is absolutely an awesomeness to Pink Mountaintops music that keeps me interested enough to keep collecting. I am a sucker for big fat sloppy riffs and wet just offish drums that play a part in creating something that sounds as though it could fall apart at any second but is held together by good playing and songwriting abilities. What i mean is that there is kind of an open feeling to these tunes as if some of them were recorded in an empty warehouse in one take. It's freeing music that doesn't feel overly rehearsed or pretentious. Vocals echo beautifully, hitting you with two or three times the power and filling you in a way that some vocals cannot. Drums resonate and wake you while guitar fuzz lulls you to laziness and the songs as a whole sometimes sounds very west coast sea and mountain chill on the large scale. Lyrics aren't a total downer and even offer some positivity such as in 'Holiday' where McBean laments that "everyone he loves deserves a holiday in the sun, almost everyday, until lions are off of their backs." Though this is a far cry from co-vocalist Amber(Amy?!??!?) Webber declaring on 'While You Were Dreaming', that "if I could find your heart I'd pull it from your chest and smash you with my fists until it was beating." Wide open, bleak and kind of beautiful, which for me sums up the Pink Mountaintops experience. The music is big and at times bordering on epic of sound. The musicianship is "not trying" excellent and the songs are memorable for the most part. Outside Love may have been a cut above the last two albums in some music critics minds but for me it was simply a continuation of a cleaner and wiser pre-existing sound. When it comes down to personal choice I'd much rather listen to their self titled album or Axis Of Evol any other lazy day of the week. Outside love is a pretty good album, but not their best.  
Winning track:
K, I'm out. Thank you i love you!

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