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Pink Mountain

Pink Mountain

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Album Review

Pink Mountain, the West Coast indie supergroup "fronted" by Quasi's Sam Coomes, are a little hard to classify, which is assumedly their intention. All five members of the band are talented and respected musicians in their own rights — especially in the avant-garde scene — so perhaps then it should come as no surprise that what they create on their self-titled debut is something like a mixture of prog, improv, a bulldozer, a lot of drums, bluesy rock, and a huge pile of broken glass. Needless to say, it's not particularly clean, or even necessarily understandable. The instruments push and collide against one another like they're fighting for the same breath of air, more often than not ending up in a shattered mess of electrified noise and screaming, either from Coomes (who provides vocals on the few tracks that include them) or from various members of the reed family (played by either Kyle Bruckmann or Scott Rosenberg). In the songs in which the instruments attempt to work together to create something bordering on cohesive — "Circling the 7th Planet" for example — this kind of experimental noise works well, as the drums, guitars, bass, and keys play awkwardly off one another like the discordant sounds of a busy alleyway in the evening, and even though the music doesn't always make a lot of sense, it can be followed and appreciated. It's harder to say the same thing, however, about the nearly — in true prog fashion — 11-minute-long "Deus Ancien," which relies on Gino Robair's frantic drums to provide the song's only real movement, or "No (Yeah)," which sounds like John Shiurba put his guitar in a blender while he was playing it. There's always a fine line between experimental and nonsensical, and especially when most of it is improvised, it can sometime become hard to contain one's own desire for musical expression with things that people would actually want to listen to on an album. Pink Mountain may have a lot of talent, and they're probably a whole lot of fun to watch, but unfortunately their record isn't really able to capture either of these attributes. Is it messy? Absolutely. Innovative? Perhaps. A record that should actually be listened to repeatedly? Well, that's up in the air.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The band Pink Mountain, comprised of West Coast musicians Sam Coomes (keys, vocals), Kyle Bruckmann (double reeds, analog synth), Scott Rosenberg (reeds), John Shiurba (guitar, bass), and Gino Robair (drums), all of whom are in numerous other musical projects, released their self-titled...
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Pink Mountain, Pink Mountain
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