Los Angeles Mountain Tamer kicks off this live series of 5 (Mountain Tamer, Stöner, Spirit Mother, Nebula and Earthless) released by the Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds Records. Mountain Tamer is a band that you either have to get used to, or they take you straight to psych heaven. The “getting used to” is mainly due to the vocals of singer Andrew Hall. Sometimes he sings, sometimes he screams, sometimes he just talks. In any case, do not expect singing within the lines. The songs they play live in the Mojave Desert are all songs from their latest studio album Psychosis Ritual (except the title track), added with two older songs from Goldfortune / Dark Matters (A salient detail is that each album of theirs has been released by a different label). Personally, I think that is a missed opportunity. With Psychosis Rituals still fresh in my mind.
Mountain Tamer: the first band of the five to perform in this live series. Somewhere in the middle of the day in the desert. I read in an interview that the sun was very bright and that it was a “challenge” for singer, guitarist Andrew Hall to find his pedals: typical desert problems. “A Fucking pain in the ass”, also that the pedals were partly buried under the sand. That might be the reason that the first two songs, Warlock and Turoc Maximus Antonis sound a bit messy and lack inspiration. The moment they start playing Chained, Hall was very frustrated and angry. You can hear that anger: snarling guitar sounds are flying right in your ears. Also, the bass sound as if the strings were smeared with desert sand. Resulting in wonderfully dirty psych and that in broad daylight. One thing is definitely for sure: Mountain Tamer sounds a lot heavier, rougher and dirtier live than on their studio releases. The band really goes wild in the last three songs. Whether this is due to the positive influences of the sun, the frustrations or because of something “different”: it certainly sounds greasy!
Unfortunately their set is quite short: 36 minutes. There is a lot going on here: a lot of psych, fuzzy guitar sound, grunge melodies, gritty bass lines, not to mention the screams and vocal lines that seem to echo in the empty desert.