Morning breaks, and you wake up with a slight hang over. Maybe something worse. You stumble onto the porch to watch the sun rise against the mountains a few miles away. The mountains are red, and you feel like shit. You crack a beer to get somewhat back into gear, sit down on a filthy white lawn chair and think about what got you here, where you are and where you’re going. What music should you put on to help you with your effort? Many questions in life are difficult, but this one ain’t: you should put on Red Mountains’ Slow Wander.
The Norwegian sludge/stoner rock’n roll fellers behind Down With the Sun are back, with a new and exciting piece of psychedelic, heavy, hard and sleepy rock music. They’ve got the basic stoner fuzz, the slightly shuffling beat, the vocals of a type I somehow associate with grunge (?) and a more or less perfect production, combining the sound and feel of rehearsal space and professional studio. These days, when stoner, doom and sludge all seem to be skyrocketing, these things are all well and good, but probably not quite enough. Luckily, Red Mountains have a few extras on offer: excellent song-writing, for starters. The music may sound like it’s largely written for junkies, but it doesn’t sound like it’s written by junkies (not that we have any actual clue, but you see the point). A track like “Rat King” is catchy enough to almost be a radio hit – except there might be a wee bit too much intricacy and musical integrity for that to happen.
Slow Wander may be just what the title promises – if you’re waiting for someone to bring on the noise, the funk or the blast beats, you’ll have to wait until someone puts on another record. This does not stop it from being a riveting ride. The atmosphere of this music is almost ambient in nature – despite articulate riffs and trope-like, classic rock and ballad elements entering into the songs at regular intervals. The vistas painted are not always obvious – but clearly most of them are of the U.S. South and/or desert regions, the mighty Fjells of Norway and introvert visions of things unseen by most men. These are facts, not interpretations.
This could be a bit too “indie” to be commercially viable, but Red Mountains have managed to fit their musically adept, clever prog-psych-stoner with more than a few accessible, stirring musical constructions that are captivating enough to draw an audience beyond the most stoned stoner fans. Long-winded, progressive tracks like “Endless Ocean” are awesome as a complement to borderline hit songs like the Black Sabbathesque “Fog”, and there is both scope, power and creativity to be found here. If you’re into stoner, Red Mountains Slow Wander is simply mandatory.
The album is released on the very first of September, and various versions can be pre-ordered from All Good Clean Records.