Listening to Scott Pinkmountain for the first time, one is likely to think he is just another standard indie artist. This, however, will fade into awe around halfway through opening tune “Song Of Solomon”. There’s nothing standard about Pinkmountain’s music. It’s unique. It’s original. It’s damn good. Just listen to the horn and woodwinds opening track two, “I Shall Not Be Released”.
There are distinct elements of jazz here, which is surprising for a more indie rock/pop-based artist. Not only that, songs like “Solar Flare” dabble in free-jazz, the eclectic, and the avant garde — that stuff alone is hard to come by. Tunes like “Lucy” may hold a bit closer to the sensibilities of their genre, but one can still hear blatantly jazzy keyboard riffs and hefty traces of funk in the guitar.
Oddly enough, perhaps the most rewarding tunes are those that stretch the boundaries the least; tunes like “Song Of Solomon” and “Abyssinia” are easily accessible to a wide audience and lack much of the wacko stuff that The Full Sun is packed with (though the latter’s extensive length topping 10 minutes may be tough to swallow for some). Similarly, “Angel of Death” and “To Love Is To Die” give the album two contrasting sides.
But there is plenty noteworthy in the more eclectic side of Scott Pinkmountain. The opening notes of the epic, 14-minute “Unforgiven” are piercing and screechy, but they quickly slide into pleasanter chord progressions. As the song launches into a full-bodied tune at around four minutes, it remains filled with slightly odd chords, strange for a song so seemingly simple and relaxed. And if you can make it to the halfway point, you’ll be treated with the most excellent of guitar solos.
Little can be found on The Full Sun where the standard hasn’t been manipulated in some way. The album is a bizarre concoction — a recipe, if you will — packed with ingredients your palette may initially find a bit strange (or that may sound strange when listed side-by-side); yet the taste is pleasant and liable to be a runner up for your next favorite dish.
Scott Pinkmountain: You Gave Me This [mp3]
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1. Song Of Solomon
2. I Shall Not Be Released
3. Solar Flare
9. You Gave Me This
11. Angel Of Death
12. To Live Is To Die