Bands like Black Mountain seem very rare, ably and willingly carrying on those wayward sons still in love with arena swagger and hit-making persuasion. Queens of the Stone Age aided in filling that void for a while, celebrating avant-garde manipulations of the 70s rock paradigm, but with Black Mountain the Sabbath-inspired edge gleams so brightly it’s blinding, at least this time around.
Part mind numbing, part infuriating, part stimulating and always worth discussion, Swans remain a significant force in underground and independent music and this new album sees the No Wave merge with the compositionally avant-garde.
Even if there’s that wistful, pastoral-like imagery to their sound, much of the tracks stray to their own beats, in desperate search of distinction. Instead of modest waltzes and looped drum machines, there’s an evident maturity in the way the production unveils itself as richer and far more multifaceted.
They’ve spent most of the decade shouting to be heard, but now they are content to let the music and the message flower and take root. You might think they are just tired, but their nervous energy survives intact.
Wearing his love for Bowie on his sleeve for all to see serves him well - this album is the most lyrically focused LCD outing and the most uncompromising, with most songs breaking the six minute mark and a few breaking nine. It’s not just a great dance album; it’s a great pop album.