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Mount Vicious – Leather Beer Caddy review from Dead Angel

May issue

This is not, technically speaking, a real and formal introduction to this Oakland “supergroup” featuring current and former members of popular Bay-area bands like Replicator, City Volume, Cold War, and The Long Thaw (among many, many others) — these are current versions of five songs scheduled for eventual release, in different form, on the band’s impending full-length debut. They recorded these songs and issued this ep (with only fifty copies available on cd-r; everybody else can download the tracks on the band’s web site) to give people an idea of where they stand right now, musically speaking. Not surprisingly for such a high-energy outfit, they’re impatient and want to bring the rock to you RIGHT NOW. And this they do, with much flair. Their songs are a weirdly distinctive amalgamation of classic, mainstream Big Rock and spazzed-out postmodern math rock, heavy and catchy and baroque all at the same time, with big riffs and squiggly guitar lines over a monster rhythm section. If you’ve heard Replicator — particularly the material they were doing at the tail end of their existence — it’s not difficult to see this as the natural progression of that aesthetic, but the material here is a shade closer to anthemic rock and, while still plenty complex and proggy, not quite so totally mired in the obscure rhythms of math rock. I haven’t heard any of the other bands germane to the members of the band who weren’t in Replicator, so it’s hard to guess what they bring to the table, but the sum of the parts is certainly exciting. The emphasis on guitar frippery (there are three guitar players, offering plenty of opportunity to get some really rocking polyrhythmic six-string action going) definitely works for me. They’re certainly off to a promising start with songs this good and playing so energetic.
-RFK