Young Mountain – Lost Tree (Through Love Records / Zegema Beach Records / Miss The Stars Records / Hardcore For The Losers / Dasein Records / Pundonor Records, 2018)

So this is another of those occasions when a band has approached me out of the blue for a review of their new joint. This time around we have Young Mountain, of Gothenburg in Sweden. Young Mountain state their influences as “it’s complicated”, just like that old Facebook relationship status. They self-describe as a” 5-piece atmospheric hardcore band”, and they’ve been releasing music as Young Mountain since April 2013. So I guess there’s your background, and you can check out the back catalogue on their bandcamp page. I’ve yet to find the time to go through their back catalogue, so I won’t take up anymore space on that, but based on what I’m hearing here, it sounds like further investigation would be a worthy use of my time.

So with vagaries such as the aforementioned statements around influences and their self-description, it’s clear that this will be a tough one to pigeonhole. But then again, some of the most exciting music out there at the moment is pretty genre-defying. Or indeed, sometimes genre-defining. To be honest, sometimes stuff like this can be a bit too challenging for a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy like myself, and admittedly I can often find stuff like this either too opaque or “too far up it’s own arse” as we like to say in certain parts of northern England. Thankfully, on this occasion, that is not the case.

There seems to be a whole bunch of elements to this, which when drawn together produce a huge melodic yet dissonant sound. I’m not talking from the biggest knowledge base here, but to me, this really vibes like that screamy post-hardcore band from Japan, Envy, who hit the height of their popularity in the UK during the mid-2000s. Beyond this, there’s also elements of the huge post-rock soundscapes produced by bands like Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and the like, peppered with post-metal sections that remind me of Neurosis and Red Sparowes. There are occasional breaks of what I’d (no doubt incorrectly) describe as black metal style thunderous and relentless drumming overlaid with screeched vocals. Yet in stark contrast to all this there are huge sprawling breaks of delay-laden twinkly emo that build into punishing crescendos – think Benton Falls meets Spy vs. Spy.

Speaking as someone that doesn’t spend a huge amount of time listening to this type of stuff, I feel amazed that this work doesn’t collapse beneath the weight of its own ambition. But then again, I suppose it’s pretty dark for a lot of the year in Sweden, so I can imagine a huge amount of time being spent indoors rigorously composing this stuff. This is definitely something you need to digest as a whole piece of work. It’s a Tony of Nurgle rating of 9/10 for this.

You can check this out on the player below:

Lost Tree was released on the 5th September and will be available from:
Young Mountain (webstore) – limited edition gold vinyl
Through Love Records (Hamburg/EU) – limited edition purple vinyl
Zegema Beach Records (Canada) – black vinyl
Miss The Stars Records (Berlin) – black vinyl
Pundonor Records (Spain) – black vinyl
HC4L (Austria) – black vinyl
Dasein Records (Denmark) – black vinyl

There will be a tour to support the record release between the 12th and 27th October 2018:
12: Kiel, Germany
13: Hamburg, Germany
14: TBC
15: Karlsruhe, Belgium (TBC)
16: Lillie, Belgium
17: Paris, France
18: Toulouse, France
19: Ordizia, Spain
20: Madrid, Spain
21: Barcelona, Spain (TBC)
22: TBC
23: TBC
24: Munchen, Kafe Marat
25: TBC
26: Berlin, Germany
27: Leipzig, Germany

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, currently living in exile in Croydon, South East London. He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also spent a couple of years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - hopefully in the not too distant future. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, rarely skateboarding, often reading books with maps in the front.

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