Queens Will Play
For their second album, 2008’s Into the Future, Vancouver, BC’s Black Mountain continue exploring the variants of 1960s and modern psychedelia that made their 2005 self-titled debut such a head turner. Leader Stephen McBean may direct the band into the pastoral meadows and space travels of early ‘70s Pink Floyd-Hawkwind and some refried boogie on the near 17-minute “Bright Lights,” but elsewhere everything from Procol Harum to Ten Years After to Jimi Hendrix to David Bowie to Mercury Rev are blended into this quintet’s exquisite journey to the center of their fantastic record collection. However, BM aren’t recreating old records, they’re reinventing the atmosphere and vibe of their favorite eras. The basic acoustic folk-pop of “Wild Wind” is given extra dimension with inspired ‘70s-styled Mick Ronson-era electric guitar. “Stay Free” (featured on the Spiderman 3 soundtrack) recalls the haunting falsetto of the Flaming Lips while charting its own free-spirited course. “Queens Will Play,” “Angels” and the creepy otherworldly closing ballad “Night Walks” illustrate further the group’s ability to channel other challenging dimensions from the simple templates of classic rock.