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Black Mountain 

Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar/Outside)

The Vancouver heavyweight is back with its third album. And, like a boxer in that class, it tends to plod along, landing thundering punches. There’s “Rollercoaster” but wait for the eighth and title track, with a lead vocal sung by Amber Webber, for the real proof of the band’s size and strength. Occasional speed (“Let Spirits Ride”) will stun you. Staying with the metaphor, it’s the heavyweights who are often the gentle giants and there are some lovely psychedelic acoustic tunes here. The closer, “Sadie,” is a great example. When one wants more combinations, a little more finesse and grace, in the sound, there’s always the untethered, image-laden lyrics to fill in the gaps.

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Vol 25, No 20
October 12, 2017

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