Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart
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Black Mountain's sound owes more than a modicum of debt to big rock's storied past, and on Wilderness Heart they still lean heavily on many of those influences, but have focused and tightened them into a classic rock-sounding vehicle that is more their own animal than someone else's.
Amber Webber emerges into at least an equally prominent lead vocalist role as guitarist/vocalist Stephen McBean. Their power as a duet is exercised on the set's opening cut, “The Hair Song," which evokes so much of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti-and-after aesthetic that it feels like a wonderful homage, but the pair's vocals are quite stunning together. They are on second track "Old Fangs" as well, though they alternate, as the band offers up shades of Garth Hudson's organ sound from "Chest Fever" on a chug-heavy, taut modern rocker. What's quite noticeable about these first two tracks is that they are an aesthetic for the album, which features closely constructed, attentive songwriting that doesn't try to pack everything but the bathroom sink into the mix and/or knot the listener's mind with elongated instrumental passages.