Mountains And Rainbows

Castle Face Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


It wasn't that long ago that Detroit's Mountains And Rainbows only had a questionable sounding cassette on their resume, despite having been together for more than enough time for a proper release. Now enter Particles, a double album that tries to capture the undefined and scattered sound that had John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees) raving about the band after playing with them and subsequently signing them to his Castle Face label. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

At a running time of one hour, Particles crams garage, psych, and rock 'n' roll oddities into a minimally produced, seemingly haphazard affair that's, well, weird in all the best undefinable ways (and completely unpredictable).

In fact, describing Mountains And Rainbows as eclectic would be a monumental understatement. While some tunes, like “Sycamore Tree” and “Faulter,” might be easily described as glam rock and guitar pop, respectively, others, like “Fancies,” are 10+ minutes of mesmerizing grooves with reckless saxophones.

Certainly more in the punk realm, tunes like “Ma'am (I Like Your Daughter)” are reminiscent of '90s alt-rock, and “With Beefheart” ups the ante with jagged, thundering, fuzzy guitars where the only vocals present are laughs. But then “I'm A Peaceful Man” brings twang and country-influenced sounds to the affair. Elsewhere, surf's up with the “Beach Jam” interludes, and “How You Spend Your Time” resides near the ocean as well with jangly '60s inspired beach rock sounds.

Frontman Matt Ziolkowski (who is also in Tyvek) pulls off some fine vocal acrobatics here and the often referenced genres of punk and classic rock make this unusual and immediately intriguing. Reportedly already legendary in Detroit, Mountains and Rainbows gives the rest of the world a perfect place to start with these 18 tracks.

Not too many outfits could pull of a double album as their first proper release, but then again, there's nobody out there quite like Mountains And Rainbows.

Rating: A-

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