Neil Barraclough has been writing songs for about thirty years. It took him around two and a half years to make High on the Mountain Line which happens to be his first release.
High on the Mountain Line also seems to be a complete DIY effort. I mean everything from the song writing to the mastering. I’m usually impressed by someone who tries to wear that many hats but I’m definitely more impressed when they pull it off like Barraclough has done.
The album has ten tracks but the songs averaged around six minutes long. It was on the precipice of feeling too long for a single session of consumption. On that note the flow felt natural and seamless with a fairly cohesive vision.
The bread and butter of the album is the guitar work and vocals. I thought the majority of the songs had a coat of melancholy on them but that wasn’t much of surprise when you consider Barraclough’s influences such as Elliott Smith, Mark Linkous and Mark Kozelek.
He opens with “astronauts” which was actually inspired by Mark Linkous and I have to say the music did remind me of Sparklehorse. That being said you can also hear Red House Painters is in there as well. It’s a great song with a strong performance and memorable melodies.
Up next is “that radio song” which is more upbeat and in fact one of the more single worthy songs on the album. “devil's lullaby” is an eight-plus-minute song and sounded a bit out of place. It has a lounge-y, synth-y R&B feel to it with swelling strings. I liked the song but it had a different feel.
A standout was “like wild horses” because of the beautiful cascading instrumentation and baritone vocals. The last two songs on the album “mountain line” and “patiens mortem” were the two other songs that stuck out.
High on the Mountain Line had some minor issues for me but still nothing short of a really good album. Barraclough delivers with songwriting, delivery, creativity and technical skill. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook