Moving Mountains – Waves
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Record Label: Triple Crown
Progression can be tricky. Evolving your sound is risky. After wowing the post-rock scene with their phenomenal debut, Pneuma, and follow-up EP Foreword, the New York quartet known as Moving Mountains is set to achieve new heights with their Triple Crown Records debut, Waves. Sensing a need to progress from their loud post-rock sound, the band ventures into the passionate, post-hardcore (or whatever you want to call it) world occupied by the likes of bands such as Thrice and Moneen. This is not the say that Moving Mountains completely abandoned their atmospheric post-rock sound or that they are dumbing it down; instead they've added more structure to their songwriting, making Gregory Dunn's searing vocals a much bigger focal point within the album's ten tracks.
This album is massive, and you hear it immediately from the beginning of opener “My Life Is Like A Chase Dream (And I'm Still Having Chase Dreams).” Paced by the pummeling guitar work of Dunn and Frank Graniero, the track is anchored by Dunn's frantic vocals-turned-shouts which channel Thrice at its very best. It's an opener that is absolutely breathtaking, abrupt, and chaotic. Songs like “Where Two Bodies Lie” and the brash “Alleviate” show off the band's ear for melody while retaining its aggressiveness. The former features a killer bridge led by a dizzying array of strings, while the latter is sure to incite a few mosh pits live (Dunn's vocal transitions are near perfect here). The best of the bunch may be “The Cascade.” There 's a certain sense of serenity within this track, which showcases some quality drumming from Nicholas Pizzolato, well-placed chimes and keys, and a fantastic vocal cameo from Moneen's Kenny Bridges.
Bursts of their post-rock ambience show up throughout Waves as well. You'll lose yourself amongst the spacey “Parts In Different Places,” in which Dunn trades in his harsh vocals for a soothing croon. “Tired Tiger” features the kind of stunning build-ups we've come to love from Moving Mountains, while the delicate “Once Rendering” is equally haunting and beautiful, as the transcendent final minute develops a connection with the listener. The soaring final number, “Full Circle,” is the ultimate genre synthesis that Moving Mountains is trying to achieve. Dunn's strong vocals are met with the band's expansive music palette – the mixture of sounds combine to make some daring yet calming, ending Waves in grand fashion.
There will be some fans who'll be disappointed in this release for not staying within the genre of post-rock, and the vocal minority will scream on and about how Waves is sell-out material. Dunn said it best when he stated that “Waves is just a natural progression,” and that “we didn't want to make the same record twice.” Moving Mountains hasn't watered anything down with Waves. If anything, they've infused their brand of post-rock with a dynamic energy few bands can match. Dunn's distressed lyrical imagery will move you and exhaust you; his words complementing the band's encompassing musicianship wonderfully. It's appropriately titled Waves because that's exactly what it is: the different musical layers and intensity crash through your senses and takes you to places few records in 2011 can.
Not feeling this album. I want to like it, but there a bunch of things that bother me. I still am excited for the band though because theyre getting a lot of exposure and want them to keep on their uprising. Rock out