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There are moments when the members of Westchester, NY's Moving Mountains wonder if they should've been born a decade earlier. Their Triple Crown Records debut, Waves, harkens back to the early 2000s and finds inspiration from bands like Thursday, Sunny Day Real Estate, Engine Down, Cave In, Thrice, and even From Autumn to Ashes. Moving Mountains sought to create something special, and Waves does an incredible job of proving that. The songs are teeming with resplendent, ethereal, guitar-driven atmospherics that slowly fade into your consciousness.
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Buy this album (on vinyl if you can) and you won't be disappointed. Moving Mountains masterfully blends elements of post-rock (with etherial and ambient sounds) and post-hardcore (with occasional heavy riffs and screamed vocals) to create one of the most unforgettable pieces of music you will listen to.
The bonus tracks on the deluxe edition aren't my favorite, but I am not one to complain about bonus tracks.
The best way to describe the change it seems like for me is the same old Moving Mountains with some Underoath mixed in.
I'd never owned a Moving Mountains record, though I had heard a few songs off of their Deep Elm full length (Pneumonia), back when they sounded more like a post-rock punk-rock imitation of Appleseed Cast (certainly not a bad thing). I was stoked to buy `Waves' but I was really nervous to listen to it. A lot of bands, especially `indie bands' (is this still a relevant term?), sound great live but the sound or the energy or both don't always translate to their studio albums.
While the abrasiveness of Moving Mountains is dialed down on `Waves' when compared to the live show, it is replaced with beautifully placed strings (violins and such) and a bit of a more refined sound. The energy is still there, that `sound' is still there and above all the immediacy is still there. These guys are talented and their music shines because of it. After seeing them live I have to admit that I am not disappointed by `Waves' at all. In fact, I think I'm even more impressed by the band.
Once Rendering and My Life is Like a Chase Dream (And I'm Still Having Chase Dreams) do a good job of showcasing the extremes the band takes their sound to. Once Rendering is quiet, moody, full of acoustic guitar and violin while managing to keep from being boring or dull - it's got something brooding under the surface, something that never comes up for air. My Life is Like a Chase Dream (And I'm Still Having Chase Dreams) is full of that relentless energy and urgency, the kind of indie rock and roll that caught my attention in their live show, and never lets up.
The rest of the album lives in between these two extremes, some songs dipping their toes in both pools while others remain on the quiet side (with violins and moments of serenity) or the energetic (with driving guitars, steady drumming and the occasional Cave Inesque yell).
`Waves' is a great record. I like to call it a `thinking record,' which is a very rare and beautiful find. It's the kind of autumn record that would boost creativity and make the breeze feel better than usual. Like I keep reiterating, it has that `sound' that just makes me feel a little more alive - it's the only way I can accurately describe it. Call it urgency, call it post-rock, call it indie, call it sincerity - I can't pinpoint it but `Waves' is drowning in it.
If comparisons had to be made (and deep down we all love comparisons) I would take Cave In (Perfect Pitch Black and Jupiter) and Appleseed Cast (Low Level Owl and Mare Vitalis), mix the two, and add in a dash of autumn and night skies. But the key ingredient would be that undeterminable factor that some bands just have, that one unnamable thing that makes a band unique - Moving Mountains new record `Waves' is dripping with whatever that is.