ALBUM REVIEW: Black Stone Cherry – Magic Mountain
Black Stone Cherry released ‘Me & Mary Jane’ off as a taster from their new album ‘Magic Mountain’ not long ago, a song which wasn’t just a tip of the hat to marijuana, but a huge distorted rock anthem.
The rest of the new album doesn’t hesitate in following suit, however it’s not just a straightforward heavy rock album discussing the pleasures of weed and hallucinogenics, there’s a lot more to it, there’s actually a shed load of intricate musicianship on display throughout.
The guitar work is definitely the most desirable feature in the album, barely more than 10 seconds passes at any point in the album without the unmistakable sound of lead guitarist and vocalist Chris Robertson picking away majestically at his strings. It provides a fitting overtone for the album and gives the whole thing a typical feel of deep Southern America, something that will please the Kentucky bands’ home grown fans.
It takes a step away from the onslaught of distortion and face melters in tracks like ‘Runaway’ and ‘Sometimes’, which showcase a more ballad like side to the band, and do so in impressive fashion, for all the energy and huge rock anthems, these subtle stripped back tracks probably are the more impressive outcomes of the album.
We see them experimenting ever so slightly with more psychedelic rock, there’s only glimpses of it, but it’s there’s definitely a few examples of the loopy and spacey sort of guitar effects that have played a massive part in some of the most famous psychedelic rock albums, and provide the basic sound that we expect to hear from that sort of genre.
It’s not completely new ground for Black Stone Cherry, but we see glimpses of them treading water into something a bit different, and it does keep them massively relevant, no one wants to hear a band doing the same thing over and over, but they have probably played it just the right side of safe to keep long term fans from losing touch.