We’re just a little over a month away from Black Mountain dropping their follow-up to the 2016 masterpiece IV. Destroyer, it seems, is gearing to be one of the band’s heaviest records yet. I’m excited about that. It’s also a little bittersweet given that this is the first album without founding members Amber Webber and Joshua Wells. Webber’s iconic vocals helped make the Black Mountain “sound”. Singer Rachel Fannan(Sleepy Sun) and Adam Bulgasem(Soft Kill) have been welcomed into the Black Mountain Army, as well as a few guest drummers(including former Lips’ drummer Kliph Scurlock and Oneida’s Kid Millions.) The results sound promising, though. First single “Future Shade” is a hell of a track, all full-throttle rock and roll with a hint of 70s prog for good measure. And now they’ve released “Boogie Lover”, a slow-burn rocker that’s part NWOBHM(think old school Scorpions and Priest) with some of the band’s In The Future slow burn.
When I first heard Black Mountain over 10 years ago I wasn’t sure how to take them. Were they serious? Was this some sort of put-on, like they’re rocking out really hard and getting some serious glow from the back of their tube amps, but off to the side there was a wink-wink, nudge-nudge thing happening? Eventually about 6 years ago I bought In the Future, deep-dived into the Black Mountain pool and realized this Canadian collective of heavy metal hippies were as serious as metal up your ass. Not only were those Black Mountain albums absolutely soaked in 70s acid and THC, but there was this element of the mystical on those first couple records. Sure, Wilderness Heart went a little AOR-rock heavy, but it was still a solid album(my opinion.) Looser and more fun. And all the solo stuff from each corner of the group was amazing. Lightning Dust, Pink Mountaintops, and Sinoia Caves all stand on their own as incredible bands. Am I a little sad that Amber and Joshua have parted from the rock cult that is Black Mountain? Absolutely. Does a song like “Boogie Lover” make me feel a little better about the changes? Absofuckinglutely.
Slow groove, slinking, fuzzy bass, and Rachel Fannen laying down some seriously sexy rock and roll voodoo in the vocal department. Stephen McBean is the ringleader of this band of merry rock pranksters, and he builds into a chorus that sounds like late-80s Seattle, Washington getting into a fist fight with early 70s Birmingham, England. I think you could classify this as groovy doom metal. I welcome this “Boogie Lover” with open arms.
Give it a spin below.