Meth Mountain - Discography [cassette] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Meth Mountain

Discography [cassette] (2010)

Self Aware

Little-known Charlotte-based post-hardcore punkers Meth Mountain were only around for a year and change, so it's astounding how much music they managed to lay to tape in that time. This cassette discography, released courtesy of Self Aware Records, is a whopping 63:44*. It's long, that's for sure. But the band's style is interesting and compelling enough to at least somewhat substantiate it. More ahead.

The band culled the vibes of old emo/post-hardcore acts like Rites of Spring and Swiz, but usually had more of a carefully experimental hardcore tilt to it. One of the band's longest songs, maybe their longest, "Blending In" is a highlight. The 4:00 slow-burner musically nods to the brooding tendencies of both Embrace and early Jawbreaker, but has some of those babbling vocal lines borrowed from Moss Icon.

They also sample a portion of the Boss's "Born in the U.S.A." for "Stay Together", which I imagine is part of their unreleased Born in the USA EP. But you're not liable to hear any of that Americana punk sound here; instead, Born in the USA's tracks instead traverse a darker, sonically creepier territory that, on "Hollow", almost hearkens to post-metal sounds if it weren't for its noisier, punkier finish. The previously reviewed Monotony 7" tracks, which come next, bear some of the raspier but also better stuff here.

Monotony eventually ends, mostly avoiding the fate of its detrimental title, and then shit starts to get weird on "Wind". "Wind"'s an avant-garde, percussive interlude; "The Sink" is a series of painful screeches and...farting noises, maybe...backed by ominous white noise, with a little bit of an electronic beat. It's hard to gauge the necessity of these tracks, but it's probably pretty low. Things come back smoothly with solid covers of Black Flag's "My War" and Nirvana's "tourette's". Both are quick and dirty, true to the originals in that sense.

"Demo Tape" is self-explanatory. It's an eight-minute track that spans that whole release, and it's worth a listen, but the recording's rough and replay value's pretty low.

* - Okay, here's the kicker: Closer "Devil's Lettuce" is mostly an 18-minute-long, industrial drone track, so that's pretty much a third of the cassette right there. It's the type of shit you hope to hear if you still buy everything Hydra Head puts out. It's pretty stagnant until 11 minutes in when there's finally a dynamic pickup and a winding, noodly guitar lead. Still, that means 61 percent of it is not quite for me, and ends Discography on an iffy note that demands a lot of patience for reviewing purposes.

That being said, there's enough of a decent flow and tilt to Meth Mountain's year-long explosion of experimental throwback emo that makes this cassette a worthwhile car ride standby. Just make sure your fast-forward button works.

Drink These Words
Blending In
Stay Together
I Gave Up
tourette's [Nirvana cover]