With two fervent drummers and a frontman who jogs in place while singing, there’s nothing low-energy about Philadelphia-based Mountain High. Their latest kicks up a grit storm of surly punk rock, ’70s psychedelia and dance party tomfoolery.
It’s hard to make heads or tails of the narrative, but who cares? Lyrical cryptic-ness combined with playful backup grunts and a bassline emulating totally danceable jab-jab-punch boxing rhythms just make the mysterious songs more intriguing. In “Witch Hunting Memoirs” they yell-sing, “The angels are retrieving what the muscles are receiving! S! T! A-K-E! In the ground is what I need…F! I! R-E-S! This might put some minds to rest!” It seriously sounds as if Fugazi took over a cheerleading squad.
General listeners will love “Lifecoach” because it flirts with synth pop—something like The Sounds’ “Song with a Mission.” But the real gems are more edgy. “Complexagon” begins with lumbering riffs, as if just waking from a deep sleep, before it tumbles into whip-cracking barks. And “St. John Bouvier” relies less on easy listening hooks and more on off-kilter, angular riffs and sassily creeping melodies.
It’s a booty-shakin’, smash-it-up collection of sonic shenanigans, with engaging lyrics to match. (Erika Fredrickson)
Mountain High plays the Badlander Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 9 PM with Pierced Arrows, Loving Thunder and Black Velvet Elvis. $8/$6 advance.
A low-cost health clinic has long helped migrant workers who arrive every summer to pick Flathead cherries, but shifts in the workforce have caused the clinic—and the local cherry industry overall—to adjust