Mountains for Clouds – Maybe It’s Already Everywher
Record Label: Count Your Lucky Stars
Release Date: July 29, 2013
Maybe It’s Already Everywhere seems like a summery record. Sure, it’s not as catchy as a pop-punk album and doesn’t make great listening for a day at the beach, but it’s got the same relaxing feeling. It’s the kind of album you listen to while lighting bonfires in July at night with your friends – soft and carefree.
This isn’t implying Mountains for Clouds can’t get loud – the first ten seconds of the album are a testament to that. But the band really shines in their softer moments. Take the introduction to penultimate track and album highlight “Jamage Control” (all the song titles suck, get used to it). It sounds almost post-rock-ish, with drumming reminiscent of The Appleseed Cast (that’s a compliment) and beautiful guitar tones and, a minute and a half in, a slight build that’d make Explosions in the Sky proud. It’s a sound that brings to mind walking down a quiet road on a breezy afternoon. Or there’s “I Am Nothing More Than I Could’ve Been,” a slow song consisting of some of the album’s best lyrics and subtle Mineral-esque guitar picking and a cameo by Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely estate) vocalist Keith Latinen. I didn’t notice it was him on first listen – ordinarily his high-pitched, almost apathetic-sounding voice bothers me, but he fits in perfectly here and compliments the instrumentation and other vocalist.
Mountains for Clouds also has some mathier tendencies, as indulged on “Thanks for the Dove,” a song that almost immediately makes you happy with bright chords and an abundance of cymbal crashes. “Why I Fight Dragons” exemplifies this quality pretty well too, with the most difficult sounding guitar riffs on the album as the vocalist sings, ”Pray your children never see this day.” This brings me to the hardest part of the album to swallow: the vocals. Like many bands in the genre, the singer’s voice is likely to be the make-or-break aspect. On this album, the vocal stylings are similar to those of Joie De Vivre: often off-key, but endearing and emotional just the same. On some songs they’re buried a little, which can be irritating, but it harkens back to the days of 90s emo; it makes the album feel somewhat familiar.
It’s almost serene, really. Maybe It’s Already Everywhere just puts the listener in a calmer mood in its swirl of noodley riffs, crashing drumming, and dreary vocals. It’s the album you listen to while you drive to the park or take your dog for a walk. It’s the record you play on a summer night while you read on your porch. Really, it’s a record for anytime.