Moving Mountains - Pneuma
Record Label: Deep Elm Records
Release Date: early 2007; February 25, 2008 (re-release)
Receiving an album like Moving Mountains’ debut Pneuma is a rare pleasure. Maybe I find this album so appealing because I’ve waded knee deep through a dozen or so records before finding something that I really enjoy. Maybe it’s because I love quality guitar tones and atmospheric riffing. Either way, listening to Pneuma is a refreshing experience. However, my delight soon turns into disappointment as I realize that no one I know has heard this music. How many more bands like Moving Mountains are out there, floating around the information super highway, just waiting for someone to pay attention? More than I’d like to know. I hope (and expect) big things happen for Moving Mountains as this record is released worldwide on Deep Elm Records.
It’s difficult to categorize Pneuma specifically. Some might call it experimental because of the loose song structures and ever present effect pedals. Some might call it post-rock (whatever that really means) because of its heavy use of atmospherics and instrumental nature. I choose to deem it simply as enjoyable, melodically driven music. Pneuma is best experienced without careful scrutiny.
Moving Mountains are successful in creating an album that seamlessly transitions from one mood to the next. One of the perks of self-releasing an album is the ability to have total artistic control of your sound. “Sol Solis” is light and airy, with sprinkles of trombone for texture, while the following track, “Grow Up, Grow on, Grow Out” offers a dense, but not weighty arrangement of busy guitars and booming drums.
Jangling guitars soaked in delay open “8105,” one of the most instantly gratifying songs on Pneuma. An interesting approach to production is taken on this song (and others), placing the guitars in the front of the mix, letting the vocals take a back seat to other melodies. It would seem that the main objective of Pneuma is to create moods, not hooks. The listener can work their way through the layers of sound that are present and hone in on whichever is found most pleasing. If you own a pair of quality headphones, use them for this record. If you don’t, consider buying some for this purpose.
However you chose to classify this album is up to you, but I offer this advice: sacrifice the forty five minutes out of your day that it takes to listen to this album in its entirety and let yourself be taken by it. Allow yourself be reminded of why you started listening to music in the first place and embrace the profound effects it can have on you. It will be time well spent.
best band I've heard since The Appleseed Cast and Outsmarting Simon... Amazing record, brilliant production, love the atmospheric/ambiant touch... you guys should check Slow Creatures (ex-Pop Unknown, who were under Deep ELM too)
"Sol Solis" just popped up on Last.FM and I'd never heard these guys before, which lead me to this review...as I'm reading it I see the mention of this song in particular and the trombone. I think to myself..."trombone?, there's no trom...WOW, EXCELLENT USE OF THE TROMBONE!"
I'll definitely be checking out more songs from this album, quite good I must say.