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The Mountain

28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 3, 2009
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

The Heartless Bastards' story starts in Dayton, Ohio, where Wennerstrom found the name on a multiple choice video trivia game at a bar.
As a songwriting teenager during a time when GBV and Brainiac were packing local bars and three of the Breeders were still in town, Wennerstrom used to sneak into clubs to check out the scene. I would just see those people my music heroes hanging out at the bar like everyone else she remembers. I could see myself in them. It gave me inspiration to do my own thing.

After doing the usual business of playing local shows, the trio set out the following year on a regional tour. One of the first gigs of the trip took them to a bar in Akron, where Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney just happened to be one of only a handful of people in the audience. This chance encounter led Wennerstrom and the Heartless Bastards to Fat Possum Records, with whom they released their debut, Stairs and Elevators, in early 2005.

The band moved on with critical praise in their back pocket, including a four-and-a-half star review from Rolling Stone, which took note that, when Wennerstrom opens her throat on Stairs and Elevators ... she sounds like she s wailing on the shoulders of giants; her sad and angry vocals channeling all the swagger and spit of a young Robert Plant

All This Time, was released during the summer of 2006, it received even more widespread critical acclaim than Stairs and Elevators. The Bastards played hundreds of shows to support the record. They played huge festivals and toured with Wilco & Lucinda Williams. Wennerstrom s songs appeared often on TV shows & in films, this would be measured by most as a huge success. Though in Wennerstrom s mind her sound and band were still evolving, and she knew it was time for a change.

In true ascetic discipline, she moved to Austin, Texas in 2007 for a change of inspirational scenery and a new recording project. With the help of producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail of Dead), she assembled a group of musicians with whom she gave the songs life and uncovered yet another layer of herself and the Heartless Bastards. The two new Bastards aren t Texas ringers, but fellow Dayton brethren Dave Colvin on drums, and Jesse Ebaugh on bass, who actually played on the original demo that hooked Fat Possum.

The album, entitled The Mountain, delivers the powerful howl that fans expect from the Heartless Bastards, but also weaves in adventure with mandolins, banjos, strings and Erika s transcendent voice.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 3, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum
  • ASIN: B001O2ZVUC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have to start off by saying that when I reviewed the band's previous album here on Amazon, 2006's "All This Time", my review was censored by naming the band, if you can believe that, so I won't mention the band's name at all. The band came out of nowhere with 2 excellent albums released quickly one after another, 2005's "Stairs and Elevators" and 2006's "All This Time", to great critical acclaim, and since then a lot of things have happened. Singer-songwriter Erica Wennerstrom broke up with the band's bass-player and subsequently relocated from Cincinnati to Austin, TX, and now, finally after what seems like an eternity, and with a new line-up, Erica comes back with band's 3rd release.

"The Mountain" (11 tracks; 51 min.) introduces new elements to the band's sound, check out the opener and title track, which features a steel guitar. Check out also "Had To Go", a 7+ min. slow-burner of acoustic guitar, mandolin and violin, of all things, but somehow it works great. Most other tracks are more traditional to the band's sound. Check out the hard-charging (and very short) "Early In the Morning", the beautiful "Out At Sea" (first radio single), and the pensive "Wide Awake". The album closes with 2 great tunes, "Witchy Poo" and "Sway".

In all this is a very satisfying 3rd album for the band. Erica is evolving while staying true to the band's core sound. Meanwhile, the band continues to gather more and more attention. They have just embarked on a national tour in support of the new album and if you have a chance to see them, don't miss them. Their tour will make a stop in March here in greater Cincinnati at the Madison Theatre, and you can bet I will be there (I've seen the band quite a few times in the years they were based in Cincinnati.).
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Format: MP3 Music
It would seem Heartless Bastards have a heart, and it shows on their latest record The Mountain (Fat Possum Records) released back in February of this year. I shamefully, very belatedly, discovered it via an email I received from Spoonful ([...]

The email I received offered up the title cut The Mountain. All I had to do was hear this one song. The next thing I knew, I had my credit card in hand purchasing this album. The tune begins with a slowly strummed distorted rhythm guitar that soon introduces us to an eerie steel or slide guitar, or possibly both, wailing in the not so distant background. The guitar leads us into the astoundingly powerful voice of singer-songwriter Erika Wennerstrom.

Her somewhat deep voice, emitting from a small stature, lends a very unique quality to an already distinctively psychedelic sound. She possesses one of the most silky-smooth voices I've heard in a very long time. I would personally rank her up there with female singers such as Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders or Annie Lennox of The Eurythmics, even the underappreciated Grace Slick at times. These are three extremely heavy hitters for sure, and great company for an up and coming young singer, but her voice is truly that strong.

This record is the result of Ms. Wennerstrom relocating from Ohio to Austin in 2007, barricading herself in her apartment with guitar, paper, and pen, and writing these new songs. Each song on The Mountain possesses its own flavor, its very own unique style, yet very much The Heartless Bastards. One song may be a standard rock tune (Early in the Morning), the next will have a bluesy feel (Hold Your Head High), and then finally, we will hear banjos, mandolins, even a fiddle (Had to Go & So Quite) on at least a couple tunes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Alger on April 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I ran across Heartless Bartards, because they are set to open for Jenny Lewis later this year when I see her. What a pleasant find. I truly have not been this excited about new music since I first heard the White Stripes back in their hey day. Give this a listen. You won't regret it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 4, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
I gotta say, this is easily in the top 5 for albums of the year...maybe top 3. The vocals set this music apart from any proposed competition. The emotions are raw...and it shows. Music is rarely made like this anymore, and maybe it wasn't in the past either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JotsFromJude on August 8, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard this band play from The Mountain on "Austin City Limits" and I was hooked. This is the only album I've heard from them (Apparently they had a different lineup and slightly different sound before). I absolutely love the sound from this band. The title track has to have one of the nicest uses of slide guitar in a long-while. The vocalist has an amazing voice--unique and compelling, yet able to blend very well with the rest of the band.
I would recommend trying to see their recorded ACL performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chase Stout on June 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first listened to snippets of The Mountain on their myspace page, and wasn't impressed. Then amazon had the download for 3 bucks, so I decided to give it another try, and it hasn't been out of my cd player since. I enjoy every song on the cd, and love the singer's voice. This is going to sound weird, but it reminds me of a mix between Janis Joplin and Judy Garland from the Wizard of Oz. I know, weird, but good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryan in Texas on November 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This album is only good if you like music.

I saw them live in Fort Worth, TX and she is the real deal.

You feel like you are watching Rock history when you watch them play. She belts out her music with guts and sweat and it isn't for show. There is everything real behind her vocals.
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