Tag Archives: Stephen McBean

New Black Mountain Album, IV, Planned For April

Black Mountain IVEvery once in a while, I get excited over brand new music that’s not new remastering or remix or something. As some of you already know, I have a few new bands that I immensely enjoy! Black Mountain is one of them.

Their last new album was Wilderness Heart, which was released in 2010 (SIX years ago!). Previous to that were two genuine masterpieces, In The Future (2008), and the self-titled Black Mountain debut, issued in 2005.

Black Mountain originates from Vancouver and is comprised of Stephen McBean, Jeremy Schmidt, Brad Truax, Joshua Wells, and the beautiful and talented Amber Webber.

It is with great pleasure that I help to announce the arrival of their latest album, IV. IV is on the calendar for April 1 (a great 59th birthday gift for me as my birthday follows on April 2!)

The ten-track IV is planned for CD, DD, and a 2LP set from Jagjaguwar (a favored label of mine).

IV – Black Mountain

01 – Mother of the Sun
02 – Florian Saucer Attack
03 – Defector
04 – You Can Dream
05 – Constellations
06 – Line Them All Up
07 – Cemetery Breeding
08 – (Over and Over) The Chain
09 – Crucify Me
10 – Space to Bakersfield

They will support this new album with an extensive tour (see dates below). You can purchase tickets here!

3/19 –  Azores, Portugal – Tremor Festival
3/26 – Porto, Portugal – Hard Club
3/28-29 –  Lisbon, Portugal – Musicbox
3/31 – Madrid, Spain – Sala Arena
4/01 – Barcelona, Spain – Bikini
4/02 – Bilbao, Spain – Kafe Antzoki
4/04 – Turin, Italy – Spazio 211
4/05 – Bologna, Italy – Lokomotiv
4/06 – Zurich, Switzerland – Bogen F
4/07 – Geneva, Switzerland – PTR Usine
4/08 – Paris, France – La Fleche D’Or
4/09 – Brighton, England – Concorde 2
4/10 – Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club
4/12 – London, England – Electric Ballroom
4/13 – Brussels, Belgium – Botanique
4/14 – Tilburg, Netherlands – Roadburn Festival
4/15 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg Oude Zaal
4/16 – Berlin, Germany – Lido
4/21 – Bellingham, WA – The Shakedown
4/22 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
4/23 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
4/25 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
4/26 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah
4/27 – Los Angeles, CA – The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
4/28 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
4/29-30, 05/01 – Austin, TX – Levitation
5/03 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
5/04 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
5/05 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep
5/06-07 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
5/10 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
5/11 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
5/12 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
5/13 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
5/14 – Fargo, ND – The Aquarium
5/15 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Pyramid Cabaret
5/17 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Amigos
5/18 – Edmonton, Alberta – Starlite Room
5/19 – Calgary, Alberta – Marquee Beer Market + Stage
5/21 – Vancouver, British Columbia – The Commodore Ballroom


Review: Get Back – Pink Mountaintops

These days, it’s hard to tell which band of his Stephen McBean favors most.  While the more appropriate answer would likely be “none and all”, it is interesting that it has been more than three years since the release of Wilderness Heart, the 2010 album from his Black Mountain band.  However, to be fair, it had been almost five years since his Pink Mountaintops released their latest, Get Back. And while many of us wait patiently for a new Black MountainPinkMountaintops Get Back album, as many of us are pleased to have Get Back.

For the uninitiated, Stephen McBean is the primary individual behind both projects. It is his song-writing and interests that fuels both bands. And while Black Mountain is largely a solid group of core musicians (that Amber Webber…what a voice!), Pink Mountaintops is the “side?” project that allows him much more control to explore his music, that which is in his best interests at  the time. And certainly Get Back gives us that.

Get Back can best be explained as a smorgasbord of songs that range in styles. From the strange and frenetic “North Hollywood Microwaves”, a song that centers in on unusual elements of sex, to the fascinating Black Mountain-like “Sell Your Soul”, a song that lights up the sky with its own set of fireworks, to the psychedelic rock style of “The Last Dance”, it’s clear that Get Back is an album of a solid Rock and Roll base, reminiscent of decades past. The fact that it is McBean’s work put to quality songs by a long list of  invitees makes it just that much more fun to enjoy.

Of course, some songs may take you a bit longer to attach to, while others are instant loves from the first play. The fact remains, not only is Steve McBean an important part of our current musical landscape (and should be more appreciated), but with Pink Mountaintops to allow his more creative side, Black Mountain may have the longevity it requires.  I just hope that we get more frequent releases from both sides.

Truth is, Stephen McBean, in the guises of Black Mountain, and his more personal Pink Mountaintops project, is the real deal.

–Matt Rowe

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Label: Jagjaguwar Records

Availability: CD, DD, LP

[Note: If you haven’t the single notion of who Black Mountain is, let me direct you to In the Future (2008). If you are equally unaware of Pink Mountaintops, start with this new album.]