January 31, 2008

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Black Mountain, In the Future
Jagjaguwar Records, Jan. 22
Indie pseudo-stoner bands are forever treating your average suburban Zep/Sabbath/GNR listener the way Lucy treats Charlie Brown, pulling the football away just when the potential record buyer is about to take the plunge. There are enough attention-starved critics around who’ll listen to In the Future and feel compelled to snark long and hard about the super-creativity of its Pavement-meets-early-Foghat-ness, and the beat will go on without anyone gaining anything, as in listeners getting a worthwhile album and/or Black Mountain beating the pants off of Wolfmother. The first two songs are rope-ins comprising the music-product equivalent of a mind-blowing trailer for a woefully written popcorn blockbuster action flick: the psychedelitrippy “Angels” is like Darker My Love on Zoloft; “Stormy High” opens with a hint of the “Hells Bells” intro before straddling a riff that could have come from Blue Oyster Cult’s first album and riding off into the sunset with lofty mellotron tones and Stephen McBean’s dully versatile alt-rock singing along for the ride. Then comes the changeup, “Tyrants,” a badly done, sleep-inducing attempt to fit Brian Jonestown, old Floyd and Dinosaur Jr into the same round hole. D+ — E. W. S.