Magic Mountain are a fresh garage rock trio rising from Leeds featuring a handful of Leeds rockers including lead Lins Wilson of Grammatics, Tom Hudson of Pulled Apart By Horses, and Nestor Matthews of Menace Beach.
They have just released their first single ‘Zodiac’, of which our own Callum Ritchie said “‘Zodiac’ storms two and a half minutes raining down a fuzz filled garage belter. It has big fast paced riffs from the word go which are joined by a cymbal onslaught half way through the song. The lyrics are wailing and hypnotizing, Wilson drools “One step forward two steps back” as instrumentation breaks up and down. Each member of the trio contributes an individual element drawn into the sound while influences from giants of garage such as Ty Segall and Oh Sees also shine through.”.
It got our attention & we wanted to find out more so we asked the band to pick the three records that influenced this new musical beast.
(Lins – guitar/vox)
Initially I wasn’t going to pick such an obvious influence on us as a band, but then it’s such an awesome album it was too hard to resist.
I got into listening to these guys via Ty Segall, who probably doesn’t need any introduction at this point. I saw Fuzz (Ty’s side project) at Leeds Brudenell Social Club in 2013 and they blew me away. Afterwards Nath asked me if I’d heard of Meatbodies – Chad Ubovich’s band (Fuzz’s bassist).
The intensely fuzzy guitar and mighty riffage put an instant grin on my face, it’s pretty much exactly what I want in a band. Amazing harmonies, mega-drumming, not-so-cheesy sweet-ass solos…it’s pure joy for me. It’s a good sign when you don’t skip a song on an album and this is one of those few that make that list for me. They capture their massive live sound on this record, which doesn’t always happen.
We had the pleasure of supporting them this summer at the Brudenell, which was so much fun, probably one of my favourite gigs I’ve ever played, and only our second show! Chad’s guitar string broke mid-way into the set so I came to the rescue with my SG. It was a bit of a fan-girl moment (don’t worry I totally played it cool) to see him playing some of my favourite riffs and solos from the last decade played on my own guitar. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of listening to it.
Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin
(Tom – bass/vox)
I have played this album so much that the vinyl itself melted, I moulded the vinyl into a bowl in which I use it to store my now frazzled brain and flick cigarette ash into it. Floating Coffin is a beastly collection of Thee Oh Sees / Oh Sees / The Oh Sees / OCS doing what they do best…. fuzzed up garage rock jams that squirm, snake and explode with every ‘WOOO!’. I had first heard a couple of the other Oh Sees records before this (shout out to Putrifiers II) but this one was when it all snapped into place for me. I challenge any rock n roll band to come up with a song that has more fuzz and more groove to it than ‘Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster’!
The whole album moves all over the place, from winding grooves to speed induced garage rock jam outs. The guitars turn from razor thin, pinging slices to pumping monster fuzz. John Dwyers spaced out high ghostly vocals draw you in and spit you back out again like a vampire. The new Oh Sees stuff is just as awesome but this line up / album is really special! I saw them play at Primavera festival (Barcelona) around this era and every time I listen to this album I’m transported back to the concrete festival site with a boozy warm feeling and a smile on my face.
Also, an extra mention to the awesome album cover (which attracted me to this album before I even knew it was them) for it’s mysterious, strawberry / fang / eyeball kaleidoscope vibes.
QOTSA – QOTSA
(Nestor – Drums)
This album made me realise that I’d been doing music all wrong. At the time I was all about cramming as much drums as possible into every second of the song. If I saw even the slightest bit of room I’d throw a random fill at it, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the band, I’m sure
Conversely, this record is built on restraint and necessity. The lean, taut drive of opener ‘Regular John’ showed me how much power could be generated by focusing on consistency, repetition and dynamic rather than piling on unnecessary and unpredictable flair for the sake of it.
Saying that, even the perfectly wonky drum solo in ‘Avon’ is great. The song stops dead, almost poking fun at the tongue-in-cheek, rhythmic party piece, before kicking back in exactly where it left off. Josh Homme described the best drum fills as sounding like falling down the stairs and I think this is just what he means, a little stumble and a wink that makes you appreciate the precision in the relentless, hypnotic beat on either side of it.
I probably listen to at least one track from this album every day and I like to think I write and play music that adheres to such a playful yet ferociously direct statement of musical intent.