Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Static Mountain is a four-piece rock band who reminded me of some of the rocks bands I used to like in the 90’s that were off Touch and Go Records like Shellac, The Jesus Lizard and Brainiac to name a few. What I like about these guys is it is a no frills type of record and feels like a couple of guys who enjoy making music playing some good ole rock songs. The songs are good, solid compositions and while they do remind me of some of my favorite bands from the 90’s there was also country twee not unlike something you might hear from a Wilco record. Their self-titled album showcases eight songs that have catchy hooks, pleasant vocals and good production.
Static Mountain opens with a rocking number entitled “Making Your Future” and in the first couple of seconds we are introduced to thunderous toms and guitar bends before the band comes together to find a grove that relies on distorted guitars and a quite nostalgic wha-wha peddle. The singer, Matt Williams, decides to increase his singing range an entire octave higher half-way through the song and sounds all the better for it by adding some energy. The second song “Walking Advertisement” had a Wilco-esque feel that forgoes the distorted guitars and replaces them with clean ones. It had a catchy verse (catchier than the chorus in my opinion) and could be an accessible song they may want to promote as their single. “Suicide Casanova” is another easy song to digest and veered towards their poppier side. The best song on the album was the seven-minute song “Just Pretending” where I felt they were the most original and came into their own. The song goes through a number of different phases starting with a floaty atmospheric ambience that eventually transforms into a more traditional rock song before ending strong.
Closing the album is “Once in A While” which was an excellent acoustic ballad that I felt was Williams’ best vocal performance often sounding a bit similar to Elliott Smith. Static Mountain is very much a traditional band that sticks to a formula that's been tried and true and that’s been tested to work in rock bands and if you ask me there isn’t anything wrong with that.
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