Black Mountain’s Gotta “License To Drive”

We’re a mere two weeks away from the release of Black Mountain’s newest opus Destroyer, an album I’ve been anticipating since the day it was announced. Black Mountain work a certain voodoo in their sound, one where the swirl of psychedelia, 70s prog, and 80s leather jacket heavy metal all coalesce into a massive shot of heady boogie rock. With Destroyer, it seems that the 80s leather jacket heavy metal is winning out. Previous releases from the new album “Future Shade” and “Boogie Lover” show no signs of quiet interludes or introspective naval gazing. It’s all pure rock and roll bliss with a touch of space-y goodness courtesy of Jeremy Schmidt’s synthesizer mastery.

Photo by Matt Hook

The latest single is “License To Drive” and it seems to have nothing in common with the Corey’s insepid 80s film of the same name that featured the Billy Ocean “stranger danger” theme song “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”. Black Mountain’s “License To Drive” is a full force heavy metal banger, complete with chugging rhythm guitar reminiscent of classic Judas Priest and UFO. And apparently a lot of the album was influenced by lead singer Stephen McBean getting his driver’s license and all the road freedom that gives a person.

The song opens with acoustic guitar and things seem to be heading into a more introspective direction, but then the drums kick in with full force and the song charges right into NWOBHM territory. New member Rachel Fannan’s vocals fill in nicely where the amazing Amber Webber used to sing, and Fannan is quite the melodious match for Stephen McBean’s hard rock howl. I was worried that the loss of Webber and drummer Joshua Wells may have been too much for Black Mountain to continue, but it seems that’s not the case. Now if longtime keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt(Sinoia Caves) had parted ways with the band then that’d be a different story. Happy to report that Schmidt is indeed still along for the ride and his playing on “License To Drive” is glorious and massive.

Photo by Jason Sievers

Check out “License To Drive” below and get yer preorder in right here for Destroyer. The Black Mountain Army approaches.

11 thoughts on “Black Mountain’s Gotta “License To Drive”

  1. Whoa. You are not kidding about the Judas Priest and UFO.
    2 words. Awe. Some.

    I was in Toronto last night to see Dandy Warhols and Black Mountain was playing another venue. We were using transit and it was too much to swing both.

    The band is also putting on a free outdoor show in Toronto on Saturday along with LA Witch.
    Sadly I have a prior family dinner planned.
    So close but yet so far.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Canadian Music Week has some special stuff like this show.
        The biggest issue for me is a lot of cool bands are here but sometimes play at midnight or later on a weeknight and I live about 1.5 hours from Toronto.

        As for the free shows in your downtown park, I bet there would be that one drunk dude yelling “Play Sister Christian (Slow Ride)!!!” the entire set and then during the encore pumping his fist yelling Yeahhhh!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s actually half the crowd. Haha! And yeah, we’re too old for midnight shows….especially 90 minutes from home. At least, I am.


  2. This is unbelieveable! We were just at the record store this aft, and flipping through I came upon a couple of interesting album covers…from none other than Black Mountain! We were all 🤷‍♀️, never heard of them before. Now listening to Licensed to Drive, it may require further investigatio !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Head to Toronto tonight and you can see them for free.
      Awesome band.

      Some might say the only thing that they do not like about the band are the album covers.
      I think they are cool in a weird sort of way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m fan of their album covers. ‘IV’ reminds me of classic UFO and Scorpions album covers from the 70s. ‘In The Future’ is all 70s prog. I dig ’em!


  3. I’m looking forward to the album dropping. Based on the strength of the released tracks, I dare say the album will be one of the year’s best. Probably.

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think? Let me know

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.