Here We Go
The New Regional Branch Manager
A Place in the Sun
Jazz-rock gets a fresh updating on Enjoy, the debut album by the Austin, Texas–based quartet Mount Pressmore. The band’s music is undeniably complex, built around slippery rhythms and embellished with dense interplay of guitar and keyboards. Frontman Thomas Shaw (son of GRAMMY®-winning composer Robert Shaw) favors soaring tones and clear enunciation as a singer; his songwriting is sophisticated both lyrically and musically, suggesting Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, and especially Steely Dan. But the band moves beyond its influences with a genuine funkiness that grounds its technical excellence in body-grabbing grooves with a pronounced New Orleans flavor. From the straight-ahead glide of “Here We Go” to the percolating strut of “Dry Land” and the spaced-out shimmer of “A Place in the Sun,” Mount Pressmore explore the far corners of their sound with abandon without losing their way. Shaw fills the lyric scenarios of “The New Regional Branch Manager” and “Vice-Presidential Material” with enough emotion to hold interest. Austin singer Erin Ivey’s sweet ‘n’ earthy backing vocals further enrich this accomplished and often inspired first effort.