@Planetmosh @AnybodyBC reviews ‘Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short’ by Mountainside
Some bands make an album every year or every second year. Well, not in the case of Mountainside. It’s almost six years since they released ‘All About Time’. In a DIY way, during all that time, band was not only working on the stage but with material for the new album. Over this sextet of years, I was going to their concerts, following the new songs they played and guessing what would go onto the album. After listening to ‘Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short‘ I was taken by surprise.
For many bands you can easily label as ‘doom metal’, ‘hard rock’, ‘sludge metal’ and put them one the shelf next to similar ones. It is almost impossible to do so with Mountainside. The guys started with a funny punk rock sound, continued with a quite melodic rock and now with their new album they are somewhere in between the ‘sludge’, ‘experimental’, ‘progressive rock’ and ‘post rock’.
The album cover and the CD case is the first thing worth to mention. If you are fed up with usual plastic cases or digipacks, you will be happy to have this one in your collection. The simplistic, although untraditional, light brown cardboard case with the band’s logo and album title on it in black letters. Even the case reflects the mood of the content inside. Except for that the content is a little more complex than that.
Let’s go further. The band states, the album title ‘Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short’ is how the British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the human life in the state of nature. Songs off this album take you further into the philosophic music dream, full of raw sound, loads of dynamic guitar layers and dark atmosphere.
‘Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short’ consists of seven (or nine, depending on how interpret the songs) dynamic tracks with a quite standard length of 41 min. The first track in the album is a composition of three tracks and it takes almost 10 minutes of the album running time. It slightly changes throughout the 10 minutes and for the last part of the composition goes from slow and heavy to the fast and heavy. The album blows your mind with this very first track to the final note of the last song and although the whole atmosphere is more or less the same leading through the album, each song differs. You can hear screaming harsh or even growly voice and rock’n’roll (in a sort of Motörhead way) sound on one song and melodic wave with a calm narrator in clean vocals on another. There is no way you will get bored, as there is no monotony in any song. Exceptional guitar parts by Šaras go hand in hand with the songs lyrics and this holds your interest through the whole album. The vocal of Rytelis is so much more deeper than before, it mixes up with the complex guitar parts to the quite complicated structures and puts the album to the whole different level. The atmosphere of the album is quite dark to put it short. In the longer way – it is what the band put in the album title – more or less about the human existence, which is not necessarily bright and shiny. Rather brute, competitive and unexpected with some ray of light.
As the band states, everything regarding this album was made in a DIY way but despite this, album is really high quality and pleasant to the educated rock listener’s ear. ‘Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short’ by Mountainside – is the album that undoubtedly represents Lithuanian rock scene and a must album to have.
‘Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short’ by Mountainside was self-released on 11th of November, 2013.
1. A Passing Train Awakens the Sleeping Slayer 2. Hostage 3. Doom is Set in Stone
4. Satanic Sonderkommando
5. Stokholmo Sindromas
6. The Iron Law of Oligarchy
7. Stone into Sand
8. Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish and Short
9. Ant Mano Peties Niekas Neverks
Rytelis – bass, vocals
Šaras – guitar
Karolis – drums