From Trouble In Mind... The Mountain Movers have, over the course of five albums and a decade’s worth of LPs, CDs, 7-inches, CDrs, and cassettes steadily become New Haven’s best kept secret; a band capable of lurching between melancholic indie rock, strident garage/psych and pummeling guitar freak-fuckery. Their earliest beginnings saw the band documenting bandleader Dan Greene’s (formerly of Butterflies of Love) vast catalog of songs, while displaying a rotating cast of New Haven musicians’ unique skills. Shortly after the bands fourth album (2011‘s “Apple Mountain”) constant members Greene and bassist Rick Omonte were joined by drummer Ross Menze and guitarist Kryssi Battelene, forming what is now the Mountain Mover’s longest running lineup. The band’s eponymous sixth album takes cues from everything before and coalesces the bands vision so succinctly and perfectly, it makes you wonder where they’re been your whole life.
“Mountain Movers” starts off with the dark, stormy fourteen minute track “I Could Really See Things”. Fading into view with a scree of feedback, the drums and bass start to pound and pummel until the song lurches forward, lumbering purposefully toward slashes of guitar improvisation (courtesy of lead guitarist Battalene of Colorguard and Headroom whose playing evokes the lava soaked fingers of Mizutani and Keiji Heino). Then, in a flash, the jangling, melodic strum of “Everyone Cares” floats along, it’s dreamy chorus like a salve to the six-stringed burns that preceded it. After, a brief “Intro”, “Angels Don’t Worry” is next up, finding that sweet spot between murky kraut-tinged psychedelia and acid-fried guitar-noise exploration. “Vision Television” pounds out succinct garage stomp, with poetic Sixties snot and heavy VU-inflected swagger, straight outta “The Matrix Tapes” (disc two). The album is bookended by another long-form improvised jam, appropriately titled “Jam 2” that fades into a full-bore, head-down krautrock slow burn that somehow sounds like the most melodic of Can’s repertoire and Sonic Youth at their most effective improv stages (Bad Moon Rising/EVOL/Sister era), “Mountain Movers” is a tour de force. Greene’s songwriting hits home when it needs to, but leaves pockets open for the band to stretch out and really find a way inside the songs themselves.