The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Album Review: Mountains – Centralia

Mountains-CentraliaMountains are back with a record that lives up to their namesake and the connotations that come with it. Centralia is a sprawling record that takes the listener through an auditory experience that is consistent and surprising. This is an endeavor that dives and ascends. Based out of Brooklyn, Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg—the duo behind Mountains—is known for their instrumental abilities and grandiose sound. Centralia proves that their ongoing efforts are something to be admired and enjoyed. Blending electronic and acoustic in an organic way, they have honed their sound.

From the ethereal “Propeller,” a twenty minute beast, to the more radio friendly “Identical Ship,” Centralia stands out among other releases in 2013. Don’t let the often referenced genre (if you can call it that) of “drone” dissuade you, this is the type of “drone” that is bewitching. The opening track “Sands” is sensory playground where sound and imagination can walk hand in hand. It is ambient and eerie; strings compliment the electronic layers in a tasteful concoction. Much of this can be said for the whole record because it never gets to the point where it is overbearing, though there are moments that may tend to bleed on for too long. “Liana,” with its commanding distortion and electronic power, is diverse and often sublime. Centralia is full of moments to get swept into.

Mountains have managed to keep a record with seven songs, three of which are over ten minutes, enticing and enjoyable throughout its runtime. It is a record for contemplation, vibing out; a record pleasing for many occasions. The layers are deep and one can get lost in the eccentric ooze. It is aggressive and therapeutic, powerful and trancelike. Centralia is something best dived into, listen to it loud and with an open mind. It is an album that you can listen to again and again and still find new details to love.

Essential tracks: “Liana,” “Propeller,” “Circular C”