-By Luke Keatinge
After spending the last few weeks touring the east coast, Perth outfit Mt. Mountain returned home last Saturday to launch their debut album Cosmos Terros at the Rosemount. It was a massive night of ambience-driven post-rock with a line-up of local supports including Erasers, Skullcave and Tangled Thoughts of Leaving.
Perth duo Erasers kicked things off, impressing the early few with their slowly entrancing rhythmic synth and darkly haunting vocals from singer Rebecca. Playing tracks off their recent full-length album Stem Together, Erasers’ lo-fi minimalist and moody electronica was a fitting predecessor for the bands to follow.
Up next were the post-metal boys of Skullcave, taking the room up a few notches with a set full of booming drums, ear-splitting guitars and hard-hitting vocals. The local three piece captivated the crowd with their commanding stage presence and their signature ‘doomgaze’ sound (a product of their unique marriage of their metal, grunge and alternative rock inspirations). Their aggressive set built to a monstrous fifteen minute closer that sustained an intensity as mesmerizing as it was impressive.
Perth heavyweights Tangled Thoughts of Leaving maintained this intensity as well as slowling things down a bit with some lengthy instrumental tracks. The quartet tapped into a kind of darkly ambient, post-rock metal with their relentlessly heavy distortion, menacing basslines and drums with occasional breaks of piano, synth and vocals. The crowd rhythmically rocked back and forth to the massive crashes and drops, with the extended build-ups and screeching climaxes of tracks like Reprieve a huge hit with the packed Rosemount main room. It was guitarist Andy McDonald’s last show with the band, and a thrilling send-off it was.
Rarely do you see a main act have openers as fitting as these three bands. The stage was set perfectly for Mt. Mountain’s own unique brand of ambient, psychedelic post-rock. The magnitude of Mt. Mountain’s music was felt the second they started playing, transfixing the room with their airy, atmospheric but commanding sounds. Opening track Seek the Sun and Moon Desire from the new album show the electrifying heights this five piece can reach, and their entire set was a constant interplay between winding, meditative tempos and frenetic, reverb-soaked walls of guitars that was brooding but energetic, grounded but psychedelic, modern but otherworldly.
The quintet performed with a backdrop of trippy black and white visuals – patterns and stock footage that reflected the emotional journey of their music. Singer Steve Bailey’s droning, barren vocals were haunting over the hypnotic progressions and echoing notes, taking the crowd to some far off place. Where that place is depends on the person, but Mt Mountain’s music is something you can’t help but feel deep within, and it makes your heart run wild.
All the tracks off Cosmos Terros were showcased, stunning the room with their cataclysmic rhythmic shifts, psychedelic synths, droning desert guitars, Hendrix-like solos and hard hitting drums, all coated in a Sigur Ros-level ambience and mood. The visceral power of this record translated so well to the stage, yet in many ways transcending it. Their inventive fusion of soothing lows, frenzied highs and everything in between adds up to something that isn’t easily described or labelled, but something that must be witnessed.
COSMOS TERROS is out digitally and on vinyl from April 22
Photo Credit: The Rosemount/George Foster Photography