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Wild Mountain Nation

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Album Review

Why compile a wildly eclectic mix CD when you can create your own? That seems to be the guiding philosophy behind Portland, OR, sextet Blitzen Trapper. Wild Mountain Nation picks up where 2004's schizophrenic Field Rexx left off and offers a dizzying lo-fi psychedelic prog rock power pop alt-country indie rock jamfest (and that's just the first five songs). It's unlikely to win over any adherents of the "consistency is better" school of music appreciation. But if musical adventurousness and short attention spans are viewed as positive attributes, then these 13 short songs offer ample rewards. And if you don't like what you're hearing, just wait 30 seconds.

It's easy enough to play spot-the-influences — the early-'70s cowboy stoner songs of the Grateful Dead and the New Riders of the Purple Sage, the mad, fractured pop of Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd, the sonic squalls and feedback blasts of Pavement, the fragile weirdness and melodic sensibilities of the Flaming Lips. What is more remarkable is, for the most part, these disparate influences actually hang together as coherent songs. "Murder Babe" is typical — a choice slab of Who- and Kinks-inspired power pop, complete with windmilling power chords, that morphs into a psychedelic prog rock freakout worthy of the Soft Machine. The title track and "Country Caravan" would have been worthy additions to Workingman's Dead or American Beauty, while "Woof & Warp of the Quiet Giant's Hem" mixes prime Lips-inspired indie rock with what sounds like a hippie marching band. It's all wildly imaginative, and frequently excellent. The wild mountain nation appears to be a wide-open territory, but most of it is worthy of extended exploration.

Customer Reviews

How can this album still be un-reviewed? I will gladly be the first!

Blitzen Trapper is one of the freshest new bands (but to call them new is not quite correct, considering they have been around since 2000) but let's be honest...until Furr hit the record stores, they were un-known...and proof is that this gem of an album is still un-reviewed (even after the newest release of their awesome EP following Furr: Black River Killer). So I consider them new because Furr was released in 2008...so for a while I considered them a 2008 band...not so anymore! Now they are a 2007 band (the year this was released) and I bet when I get my hands on Field Rexx they will be even older...but enough rambling about how much I love this band...let's get to the point! Wild Mountain Nation is by most band's standards...a great album...the song, the title track: "Wild Mountain Nation" is a great song...however, I will be the first to point out that this is no Furr...not by a long shot...but to compare any album to Furr just isn't fair...Furr is one of the best albums of the decade by my count and of course we don't expect Blitzen Trapper's older material to be up to the level they set with Furr... Why is Wild Mountain Nation (WMN) not as good as Furr? Well it is simple, they were still struggling with their sound, what they wanted it to be...WMN is all over the place, they go from genre to genre numerous times (sometime two or three times in a single song) and the music just isn't focused like the music on Furr...but, seeing how brilliant Blitzen Trapper is, the greatness can't help but shine itself through the mediocrity of some of the material...you can tell by the end of listening to WMN that this is the same band that created the masterpiece that is Furr... We all know the signature track from this album is "Wild Mountain Nation" and after listening to that song, some might say "well now what?" I had the same thing...and unlike Furr which took me one listen to "get", this album will take most listeners a few listens to start to fall in love...but you will...trust me! Just keep listening! But if you need help here are some of my other favorites: "Futures & Folly", "Sci-Fi Kid", "Summer Town", "Murder Babe" and probably my second favorite on the album: "Country Caravan"...listen to these songs and you will see that this is a respectable 4 or 4 and a half star album...not Furr, but definetly by the same band that did Furr and wayyyyy better than most of the crap known today as "new music"...LISTEN AND LOVE!

The Perfect Album

i found this album a different path to almost the same place. the journey was absolutely enjoyable and the tracks of furr and black river killer are obviously the first found songs on the album to get noticed. listen deeper and bam there it is…..a great album

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Blitzen Trapper's music went through various genres with each record, bouncing from indie folk to art rock to experimental folk before settling into a rich, dusty brand of Neil Young-inspired alt-country. The band formed in 2000 in Portland, Oregon, with songwriter Eric Earley leading a lineup that also included Erik Menteer (guitar, keyboard), Brian Adrian Koch (drums, vocals), Michael Van Pelt (bass), Drew Laughery (keyboard), and Marty Marquis (keyboard, vocals). Before signing a record contract...
Full Bio
Wild Mountain Nation, Blitzen Trapper
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