Moving Mountains - Foreword EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: December 2008
America learned a lot in 2008. Fast food chicken sandwiches aren’t much healthier than their hamburger counterparts. Spending money that doesn’t exist is only smart if you’re playing Monopoly. Playing Monopoly does not count as “a night on the town.” And lastly, we can’t take anything for granted. Our favorite TV shows may never return. Our favorite bands may release poop-on-tape. Nothing is sacred anymore, but hey, at least we’re learning things. Moving Mountains was a band I counted on. But as the year progressed and nothing materialized from the New York four-piece - and all my savings shit the bed. F**k you, Wachovia - I began to doubt the band’s ability to create something new and exciting. Pneuma was a veritable re-awakening for me. I realized once again that music could be dynamic, accessible and life changing all at once. It’s almost as if the band knew America would need a pick-me-up. Foreword became available online and the moment of truth finally arrived. But now I can say, with complete certainty, that Foreword erases the pain of long waits and shortsighted investing. Moving Mountains, I am your willing servant yet again.
On Foreword, Moving Mountains went down a checklist and fixed the few things wrong with Pneuma. The songs are now longer (four tracks equal almost 40 minutes of music), and the instrumental sections are emphasized with heavier brooding and atmospheres shrouded in dark clouds. Vocally, the band has improved immensely; nasally attempts at eeriness have been replaced by confident, manly wails. The screams are more elusive, but when they hit, like in the intense and horn-filled “With One’s Heart in One’s Mouth”, you’ll stop what you’re doing and appreciate a successful recreation of passion through music. Foreword is an album pampered in every way. Each song plays out like an act from a play, meticulously crafted and tirelessly rehearsed. And I don’t know about you, but after waiting so long, it just felt empowering to hear the rolling drum buildup in “Foreword.” When the vocals finally crash in with, “We are so far away from home,” try to stay still. It’s the sound of a band growing past everyone's expectations.
As a lover of the band’s earlier slow songs, it’s a no-brainer that “Armslength” caught my attention on initial listens. A softened acoustic guitar mesmerizes, even while enduring varying drum onslaughts. It’s this tense drama that sets Moving Mountains apart. Even on the first listen you’ll anticipate an encroaching sonic explosion. The lyrics shine here, too: “Do we love ourselves / In the name of God? / Do we learn to love / When it’s all we’ve got? / Well, I do.” By writing lyrics in this inquisitive, what-if style, Moving Mountains effectively counterbalance a search for universal truth with the certainty of their musical movements. Here, warbling guitars and a powerful bass drum seem to represent a band that knows exactly where its place is in this world. But these questions! They almost turn the music into a form of therapy; “Well we don’t know much about life, but we do know how to melt some faces!” And maybe, just maybe, that’s what all these orchestrated sounds we fans chase after represent. The world may be a mysterious place full of uncertainty, but we’ll always have music with the ability to morph into any answer that may momentarily elude us. Moving Mountains haven’t just satisfied with Foreword, they’ve revolutionized.
Recommended If You Like: The Appleseed Cast, The Cast Before The Break, using foodstamps to buy caviar, Anathallo-with-cajones, fur coats from Burlington Coat Factory