**Has a 2" crease bottom right corner**
It’s been over a decade since Roy Montgomery’s last album, and R M H Q is a hell of a return. M: Darkmotif Dancehall is the most experimental of the four albums. Montgomery explores new guitar tones and song construction, allowing thick distorted murk and overdriven sharpness to guide the melodies’ paths. It’s a playful montage of differing masks with discovered sounds laying the groundwork for each track to develop a mind of its own. “Six Guitar Salute For Peter Gutteridge,” is a standout upbeat number providing a personalized roadmap to the beyond, honoring the innovative original member of The Clean who could cook up melodies from the most bizarre ingredients, and who passed away last year.
Montgomery was in his rock band period in the eighties, when the dark, minimalist post-punk of The Pin Group lead into the gloriously open-ended freedoms of Dadamah. After a quiet spell, he returned in the late nineties, producing towering spires of guitar lines that exposed fragility between the strums. With his solo releases and in collaboration with Flying Saucer Attack, Bardo Pond (Hash Jar Tempo), and Chris Heaphy (Dissolve), his focus shifted from the truth-mining of rock music to epic celestialism. His ambitious yet humble tracks outstrip their origins, and Montgomery toured the world sitting cross-legged on the floor, playing twenty-plus-minute compositions.
A long period of silence followed, marked only with a split album with Grouper (who lists Montgomery as a primary influence), involvement in Torlesse Super Group, and a couple thematic variations serving as soundtracks for films. Instead, he focused on his personal and professional commitments. Unfortunately, two horrific events preceded his return: the Christchurch earthquakes of 2011 condemned Montgomery’s entire neighborhood save for his home, stripping his street of a community; and, as a volunteer firefighter, he saw first-hand the destruction and loss of life in the city center. Additionally, since 2014, illness in the family has dominated his life. Self-expression once again demanded an outlet.
R M H Q is four albums conceived and recorded over a very short period, each of them carrying a distinct focus and mood.