Thursday, December 18, 2008

Records We Missed:: Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains

The Ack's been doing a fine job of it, but it seems time for me to hop on the records we missed in '08 bandwagon. How is it, you might ask, that neither of us covered the new solo effort from former DFA 1979er Sebastien Grainger and his band The Mountains? Speaking for myself, I really hadn't spent much time listening to Death From Above, so I suppose that meant I wasn't incredibly curious to hear the direction Grainger's solo direction took him in. But it also means that unlike some people, I am able to digest these songs without the spectre of his old band haunting my listening experience.

So how do Sebastien Grainger's songs go down? Rather smoothly I should say. After my initial cople listens I found myself thinking "well now, those are some fine rock & roll songs". I can't say that Grainger's songs really grabbed me on a lyrical level, but on a visceral, "this makes me chair dance a little bit at work, even though that is kind of embarrassing when people walk by" level, it scores tremendously high. I mean the 70's-ish rocker By Cover Of Night seems to contain the line I was knocked down, she was knocked up, we went downtown, we got fucked up which seems kind of irresponsible, but is also really very fun to sing along too.

But don't listen to me, as I often come off as a Statler and/or Waldorf-esque wet-blog-blanket, if I were a decade younger and scenestering it up in some tight pants, this here album would be the soundtrack to many a night. Its tales of lust, young-love, disillusionment, and heartbreak are well-crafted and it's hard to deny their appeal. Many come with a sweaty dance-floor sensibility, but they have a rawness that makes them feel more indie rock than dance punk.

I should also add that this is a well-rounded effort too, with the swagger and snarl of songs like Love Can Be So Mean, I Hate My Friends, and Niagara being balanced by the more pensive moments found on songs like (Are There) Ways To Come Down and Love Is Not A Contest. Fans of the rocking bleeps and bloops needn't be disappointed by Grainger's new sound, as something like Renegade Silence (which features Grainger's electronic outfit The Rhythm Method - uh oh, what will these Beastie-rappin' Haligonian girls have to say about that moniker?) shows he still knows how to make the beautiful music via machines.

So there you have it, an overdue but hearty thumbs-up from the hill for Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains. This is the time of year where there are get-togethers aplenty, and I think this is an album that can get your par-tay started. Well that and ample amounts of booze in your eggnog, that makes everything waaay better this time of year. Enjoy!

Posted at 3:00 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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