Black Mountain

On this debut, the chameleonic Vancouver fivesome is lovin' the Seventies. "Oh, we can't stand/Your modern music/We feel afflicted," singer Stephen McBean moans on the saxophone-and-drums swells of "Modern Music." Things get retro on the bounding-down-the-boulevard "Druganaut," which sounds like Jimi Hendrix by way of Band of Gypsys. But when it comes to the lyrics, McBean and co-vocalist Amber Webber focus their sights on bashing U.S. foreign policy. "The war machine/ Keeps on rolling/Evil minds and hearts of stone," they sing wearily on "Set Us Free," later pleading: "Lord, won't you let us be?"

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Ray Cummings