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Bright by the Sea by Black Mountain College

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Reviewed on 18th May 2005.


Bright by the Sea

By Black Mountain College

Having earned the prestigious title of 'Pick of the week' on C4 Teletext, Bright Mountain College arrive with a very nicely packaged CD, some epic songs and an ambitious, bold stance on things.

'The Introduction' sees them take on Hope of the States-esque grandeur and mix it up with pounding disco beats. Somehow, this works, along with the Amusement Parks on Fire style wall of wailing guitars and The Arcade Fire vocals, this introduction to Black Mountain College is a glorious mash up of several styles, all working to benefit them.

The title track keeps things rolling along, with a more understated feel; it glides on its layers of pretty guitars and distorted backdrops, making for a beautiful, if heavy listen.

The strained vocals impress, even if it sounds like the singer is in some urgent need of medical attention.

The none more bleak 'Mountains' feels more like Joy Division dancing with Trent Reznor's drum machine, as the swirling wall of guitar noise soars over a broken 808 beat, all the while a distant vocal wails in the background. It's heavy stuff, so be warned: this ain't pretty.

'All The Fears' brings back some of the happiness, and whilst sounds pretty similar to the earlier songs on this EP, strays from imitation just enough. The wailing guitar/ vocal combo is back again, and proves to be another worthy slice of experimental rock in the vein of My Bloody Valentine or perhaps Joy Division.

Trust me here, it's gonna take a few listens to truly grasp, as at times it can seem like a bit of hard work, but ultimately, it's worth it. It's different, if nothing else, and in times like these, different is certainly very good.



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