Let me get this out in the open right off the bat; I wanted to hear this because the band's name is similar to a great album by The Casket Lottery, and there is no shame in saying that at all. However, considering the recent track record of their record label (Deep Elm), there is a slight tinge of worry of exactly how this album is going to sound, mainly due to the awful press given with the record. Still, the intriguing quality of Moving Mountains with Pneuma is there, but hype is a double edged sword that is difficult to ignore that almost diminishes my desire to even listen to the record. Still, it is an inviting record with some mystery around the title and band name.
The album opens with a short but sweet mood setting track, "Aphelion," and although the vocals are not the most agreeable to hear, the music actually sounds fairly promising; piano and understated guitars or strings of some sort work well with the percussion, and the mixing of the track is particularly interesting as it seems to have most of its pieces purposefully buried (almost like the whole song is affected with a volume pedal). The trombone which makes an appearance in the track "Cover the Roots/ Lower the Stems" induces several double takes and several rewinds because it sounds out of place at first; in any case it certainly draws much more attention to a song that otherwise would be background relegation material. The instrumental track "Fourth" is a good piece; the piano is truly enjoyable while the speaking going on just out of word recognition range adds a nice touch with the heartbeat sound of the percussion. The lengthiest track on Pneuma, "8105," is an ambitious composition that is brooding at times and while during others soaring; Moving Mountains takes several chances that makes for one of the more intriguing songs on the album. The quietness (and the best use of the trombone on the whole album during the subtle volume swell) and vocal arrangement of "The Earth and the Sun" makes for one of the most pleasant listening experiences on Pneuma.
Overall, Moving Mountains provides some sounds that are real interesting, little things that make Pneuma worth hearing; for instance, the way that the band effectively incorporates the piano into their songs rather than just kind of tossing it into the mix (like so many other groups have a tendency to make the mistake of doing), and the female vocals are usually a welcome part of the arrangement. The aforementioned trombone that pops up every once in a while kind of sounds out of place whenever it makes its presence known but that might be a result of the mixing process rather than a reflection of the song arrangement. Pneuma is a decent record that shows enough promise that their next record could really push the adventurousness and willingness to experiment into new possibilities while at the same time maintaining the tunefulness that is present; Moving Mountains is worth keeping an eye on their progress.
Posted Oct. 13, 2012, 1:35 a.m.
For the first time in the Triple Crown Records' history, a label showcase tour has been announced for December, featuring Caspian, O'Brother, and Moving Mountains. Check out the dates ...
Posted March 8, 2012, 11:35 a.m.
Westchester, NY indie band Moving Mountains have been announced as supporting act for Coheed & Cambria along with Pianos Become the Teeth. Moving Mountains will release the New Light EP on ...
Posted Feb. 22, 2012, 10:19 a.m.
This sping Topshelf Records will be re-issuing Moving Mountain's 2008 EP, Foreword. The re-issue will be on gatefold vinyl with new cover art. A limited edition colored vinyl will ...
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