New Album Releases: Ft. Black Mountain, Dungen & Your Youth

Canadian psychedelic rock-band Black Mountain has just released their third full-length studio album Wilderness Heart. The five friends turned bandmates began jamming up north in 2004 crafting songs that mince heavy rock tinged around the outside with some metal influence.

Their new album reflects a slightly more folk imbued design than the bands earlier more hard hitting work. But fear not Black Mountain fans, the bands’ latest brain-child is still structured around deep, low rumbling guitar riffs and raspy but precise vocals. Some of the tunes are strongly reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age with a slightly more alt-rock feel. There is also a definite 70’s rock influence going on here but the slower pacing of “Old Fangs”, and songs like “Buried By the Blues” show the band being able to mold their sound into something wholly original.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic Swedish folk rockers Dungen have recently released their sixth studio album Skit I Allt (English translation: Fuck it All) courtesy of Mexican Summer. Headed by Renaissance man Gustav Ejstes, Dungen has seen many changes in its lineup since its inception in 1999 but Ejstes  creative control has been a constant. The young Swede has sang, produced, and arranged, his way through six records thus far and he’s only 31 years old.

Though the lyrics are all in Swedish the bands 2004 release Ta Det Lugnt brought the band national acclaim within indie-rock circles. Their latest release is likely to help them maintain that extended recognition. Skit I Allt plays out an interesting menagerie of genres. To such an extent that its hard to define their style here.

Elements of classical, jazz, indie, and psychedelic rock intermingle in settled plateaus of sound. However, while Dungen is able to successfully synthesize these competing genres into a smooth, well-woven tapestry, the overall modus operandi at times seems indiscernible.

The best song on the album is probably “Brallor”, a rhythmic track that guitarist Reine Fisk leads with  poignant and well-placed gritty riffing that evens out the songs lean on reverb. This year has proven to be a busy one for Dungen, marking the onset of their biggest international tour to date, including an appearance at indie-film darling Jim Jarmusch’s ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’, a high quality alt-rock festival held in the woodlands of upper New York.

Brooklyn bred noisy pop-rock group Your Youth has just released their debut album Aloha. The album is an exercise in pop- infused fuzziness. Light, airy and head-boppin’ tunes fly off this record, making it an aptly named endless summer serenade.

“Rip Live” is a 90’s infused hard-drumming number that features sing-song lyrics. “Diamond” is a catchy- chorused riff which the band released as the first teaser single in early August. The EP can strike you as a little too repetitive at times, both in its structure as a whole and in it’s unfaltering adherence to 90’s band pop-rock styles. Still, Your Youth’s Aloha is a great choice for those wishing to extend their summer carefree vibe. An impressive first album sure to please indie-pop lovers.

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– Amanda Decker

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