Tuesday, July 7, 2009

review: Carcrashlander's Mountains On Our Backs

Mountains on Our Backs
Jealous Butcher
Myspace: www.myspace.com/carcrashlander

I keep wanting to say "dreamy landscapes" in relation to Carcrashlander's new Mountains On Our Backs. It's hard to get a reviewer to use those words in real life, plus it usually evokes some really melodic electronic weird sound atmospheric. "Dreamy landscapes" works for Carcrashlander if the dream is about a slow sink into quicksand. All of this means that Cory Gray (formerly of Desert City Soundtrack) moves independently of most modern post-rock constructs--their songs go on forever and are built on odd crescendos and usually forbidden guitar solos. There's a slow plod through it all, especially on the eight minute title track that unwinds itself like an exciting slow motion glacier--beautiful, majestic and somehow going everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

The pace is picked up incrementally with "Dollar Store Halo" and "Capillary Webs," two of my favorite tracks because of their shimmering, elegant melodies that possess a similar intensity to a broken wine glass at black-tie dinner. Keeping all of this together is Cory Gray's spirited mumble. "Quoting Dead Comedians" and "Bone Noose" have a few surf and math rock upturns, and I really want to know what the second half of "Quoting Dead Comedians" is like live--I don't think I could handle that climax. The whole experience reminds me of what Smashing Pumpkins may have aged into without the pressure of coming up with an occasional hit song.

It took me forever to write up something on Carcrashlander because everything here depends on a lonesome intensity--intense and heavy, so that
Mountains on Our Backs is most definitely an appropriate name.

Carcrashlander: "Dollar Store Halo"
Carcrashlander: "Bone Noose"

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