Slow Season ‘Mountains’ CD/LP/DD 2014

Slow Season 'Mountains'Volcom liked them so much, they put Slow Season in their new commercial. The band from California is pretty much loved by anyone it seems and rightly so, for they make a nice little bit of psychedelic rock on their new album Mountains. We’re going to check out what these guys have to offer.

The group is inspired by anything that was glorious and psychedelic in the sixties and seventies.  Listed as influences, we find names like Toad, Budgie and Led Zeppelin, but also the likes of Neil Young. It seems that the Zep is the band they prefer to pay tribute too in their sound and in real life. On the Facebook page of the band, they claim to have personally handed the first copy of their album to Jimmy Page himself.

The guitar play is indeed what stands out on opening track Sixty Eight. The band sounds like a Wolfmother, coming down from a desert fever. Calmer and more controlled. The gently weeping guitar speaks clearly enough, while pounding rhythm and repetitive bass lines let the whole thing glide onward. The band continues that on the more calm Synanon, where the vocals take the fore front.

Smooth and with a swing, the songs pass by. King City allows raw vocal chords to get tested on the swirling groove the band is laying down. A slow steady beat and gentle vocals bring balance to the bursts of wavering guitars and shouted vocals. On Shake the band lets loose to a bluesy rhythm, to which one literally wants to shake body parts. That groovy, big arena sound is maintained on Damos Days, where the wail of vocalist Daniel Rice is what carries the sound. The sound is simple, traditional and free of modern pretence. It’s gloriously laid back and that’s why these guys make you want to take it slow. Something in their sunny sound tells you to just let go of your worries.

The band reaches a funky rhythm ’n’ blues sound, akin of the Rolling Stones, on Ain’t Gonna Listen. The dry thudding drums of Cody Tarbell are quite important to their sound, but here he really takes it away. The piano adds some extra flavour to this track, giving it even more of that swag and hit potential. The Endless Mountain sees the band return to that groove laden, repetitive vibe that whirls on and on, taking a direction more reminiscent of Graveyard. Just a bit more steady and full of purpose.

Wasted Years is a bit more darker in sound and not a tribute to Iron Maiden. Finger picking guitar play adds a drop of atmosphere to the reverberating sound, that lingers in the air. An organ starts jamming right through at some point. A slow western song, with only minimal blues. with a folky flavour to it, is Apparition, coming to the end of the album almost. The album ends with another groovy jam, titled The Defector. Warm and energetic, the band creates the closure for a great record that leaves you feeling warm and happy.

Label: RidingEasy Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram | Twitter

Scribed by: Guido Segers