Flat out, these guys
are good. On Mountains on Our Backs, Carcrashlander
treats us to sprawling, artistic indie rock that is awash in
atmosphere and melody. The set-up is nothing fancy - guitar, keys,
drums, bass, and vocals, primarily - but these songs make the most
of their facilities.
is a band that's unafraid of biding its time. The eight minute
opener, for example, is a gradually metamorphosing epic - what is
essentially a lush pop song evolves seamlessly from peak to valley
and back again. It's an immense and expansive sound that catches you
by surprise. Singer Cory Gray's soft but gravelly voice is a
curiously appropriate fit to the songs, which are pretty but dark -
the style is somewhat reminiscent of The Minus 5 or Granddaddy.
Like many bands
these days, Carcrashlander makes use of amp-filtered chirping
keyboard tones, as is best exemplified by "Killingsworth Frost," a
hazy but infectious pop song with a wonderfully meandering verse
melody. But the real treat is the strolling build of "Driveway,"
which brings a sublimely pretty pop haze to a soaring climax. Thinkmodernized Talk Talk with serious edge.While I am
less than pleased with the cacophonous "Quoting Dead Comedians,"
it's the lone exception to all that these folks have done right on
this record. It's nice to see such a little-known band produce such
a cohesive and enjoyable record with Mountains On Our Backs.
Colour me impressed.