Once hailed “The Best Band That Doesn’t Have an Album” pysch-rockers Mountains and Rainbows can finally re-categorize themselves. After bouncing around for almost a decade with nothing but a cassette tape and some scattered demos, Mountains and Rainbows caught the ears of Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer after sharing a bill with the head rattling 70s art punk revivalist foursome last year. Dwyer signed them to Castle Face Records and released their double debut LP Particles last month. Particles is more than an album, though. It’s a transient, transcendent head trip that sweats and absorbs in equal measure. There is a boldness to the album as an adventure through time and memory, trailing across stateliness and atmospheric boundaries, that convinces you to overturn yourself as if you were some government implemented barrier between happiness and obligation. Particles is salty and dry, thirst inducing and never quenching. It is that very thirst that makes Mountains and Rainbows’ long awaited exploration of chaos so surprisingly satisfying. It’s a high without the hangover.
It’s hard to consider the album as individual tracks. The songs blend together, not monotonously or statically, but with a meticulously reckless smashing. Each song strikes one another forcing tinier and finer divides like an astral phenomena we read about but never actually see. Sludgy, strung out Velvet Underground-esque track “Fancies” breaks the album up and clocks in at just over ten minutes. It’s anxious and uneasy and feels more like a band warmup where the instruments sound like vocals and the vocals are a series of warbled announcements. This is a complete departure from the bouncy beach party track “How You Spend Your Time,” which is tightly composed and fulfills the albums strained pop tendency. Mountains and Rainbows play with distance and warped dissonance, which invites a cosmic spacial awareness that lends itself to feeling like fabric ripped at the seams. Drums seem to interrupt, the guitars are manic and distressed and the bass is spastically metallic. These elements crowd the vocals in such a way that it often feels like attempts to suffocate, but also is aurally victorious at regaining breath. Considering it is their first “proper” release, Particles is a fully formed thought that is not for the faint of heart, rather for those whose heart beat persistently askew.
Particles is streaming over at Hype Machine.
Listen to the track “How You Spend Your Time” below: