Thursday, August 26, 2010

Living in the Sprawl

Unless you live under a rock, you're aware that Arcade Fire's latest effort, The Suburbs, has taken the music world by storm—and not just the indie scene. Topping the Billboard charts, the Canadian band outdid fellow indie favorites Grizzly Bear in outselling Veckatimest, which also made an impressive Billboard showing last year. Arguably the crowning achievement of Suburbs—or at least the most immediately rewarding—is the, well, sprawling Regine Chassagne-led "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)." That's all well and good, but I'd like to advantage of this particular alignment of the blogosphere to shed light on an outstanding band who happens to also have mountains in its name (sweet segue, eh?).

Moving Mountains hails from New York and blends punk, math rock, post-rock, alternative, and even a touch of impassioned screamo to create a fusion of styles that consequently attracts a wide spectrum of ears. Although their sophomore release, Foreword EP, was certainly a solid effort, their crowning achievement thus far is without a doubt their debut, Pneuma. With soaring (sprawling?) distorted guitars, dynamic drumming, powerful vocals delivered by Gregory Dunn, and a knack for melancholy, Moving Mountains creates an album about love, loss, and angst. Sure, I'll admit that some might consider these guys a guilty pleasure, what with their rather emo sound, but I'm of the mind that the excellent instrumentation and sense of energy and soul far outweigh any potential shortcomings.

Before I offer you a few samplings, I'd like to recommend these guys as accompaniments to your next late night drive. Rolled-down windows required. Enjoy.

Aphelion [alt]
Cover the Roots, Lower the Stems [alt]
It is recommended that the above two tracks are experienced back-to-back.

Sol Solis [alt]
The backup vocals beginning at 2:35 and the horns at 3:23 simply make the track.


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