With a new album on the way and a slew of festival dates lined up, Canada's 2007/8 chimprock staple Black Mountain were back in town for an intimate gig at the perfectly-sized Lexington in preparation for this weekend's Latitude festival.
Pastiche-heavy new song Radiant Hearts opened the show, before new album highlight Wilderness Heart moved the band quickly into a higher gear, storming though In The Future classics Evil Ways, Tyrants, plus Old Fangs, Rollercoaster and Let Spirits Rise from the new record.
Sadly, sound problems slowly encroached into the show -with McBean's increasingly problematic amp hampering the real growth of the performance. While the rest of the band made valient efforts to paste over the cracks - with an extended jam allowing some roadie tech action, before McBean stepped back in with a blistering riff, only to be denied again. Lightning Dust star Amber Webber's wailing vocals provide a much more pronounced appearance when seeing the band live and she provided a real focus for tonights show, holding the stage like a modern day Grace Slick. The keyboard-heavy sounds of the new album also got plenty of time in the spotlight via Jeremy Schmidt, while Joshua Wells' incredible drumming stole the show on several occasions - with the robotic licks of Tyrants never failing to deliver a spine-tingling thrill.
Ultimately, the sound issues were too much to overcome, and like a (muscle) car without gas, Steve McBean sloped off unfulfilled. However, some quick tweaks from a roadie and the band were back for a super-charged encore. The newer big hitters were nearly done, but the super-sub of Stormy High saw the band roar back into action, before chunky live versions of Druganaut and Don't Run Our Hearts Around brought the band's self-titled debut album back into the favourites list.
It would take a lot more than bad electrics to keep these guys down ...and I suspect their the following night may have been unbelievable. Tonight we just had to be satisfied with awesome.