LP  Review

Bastard Mountain review

Sean Bw Parker climbs the Bastard Mountain. Why? Because it was there (well in his inbox).

Bastard Mountain  ‘Farewell, Bastard Mountain’  (Song, By Toad Records)   12th May 2014


One wonders what the poor mountain could have done to inspire such ire in the author, to be so derogatively harangued in not only the band name but also the albums. Too lofty a peak?

I don’t think I’ve heard a more perfectly crafted middle-class fireside sound all year (or indeed in the last hundred). In spite of its title, Farewell, Bastard Mountain is blisteringly inoffensive.

Why every sodding acoustic/folky singer in the UK is contractually-bound to sound like fucking Marcus Mumford or Laura Marling is beyond me, but here we are again, chin-strokingly dragged into the backroom of the Starbucks owned by your pervy uncle, there to iron his corduroys and stroke his rheumatic legs, strained by too many squat thrusts.

That said, there are two excellent tracks here, ‘Swam Like Sharks’ and ‘A Crime’, the latter being a UK Top 40 Pop Charts Number One for twenty weeks in any sane alternative dimension. These two hold within them true soul, gently and persuasively driven over genuinely evocative structures – moving stuff.

The rest of the album is perfectly produced, nu-folk ‘akustik’ (as they spell it here in Turkey) tedious loveliness – the ambition not to challenge anything, let alone offend, throughout the whole album is desperately belied by the target-audience-baffling title – unless that is you’re the type of person who found Mumford & Sons ‘I guess I fucked it up this time’ offensive.

This sounds like a disparaging review. It’s not meant to be. Just two of the songs are much, much better than the rest of it.


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