Leeds band Magick Mountain are a northern super group of sorts, with members of Sky Larkin, Pulled Apart By Horses and touring musician extraordinaire Lins Wilson coming together to deliver a high-octane dose of scuzzy garage rock on their debut album Weird Feelings.
The production here treads a finely-balanced line of shine without taking away the raw no-frills aesthetic the trio are going for. From wiggly guitar lines to the dual vocals of Lins Wilson and Tom Hudson, everything here is perfectly audible, never being overwhelmed by the fuzz of feedback. This allows Magick Mountain to maintain a sense of warmth and melody even in the heavier moments, like “Colossus”, which transitions into a rip-tide of a track that roils you round in its slipstream.
While big riffs are their calling card, ironically it’s the ‘ballad’ of the album “Dream Chaser”, that is one of the more interesting tracks here. Where other songs have a tendency to feel long-winded and repetitive despite their short run time, this philosophical meandering which sees Hudson use his falsetto to whisper, “Dream chasing like the kids / hello wisdom hello truth / goodbye wonder goodbye youth,” is lullaby-like, and shows the more grand-ambitions of the band.
With a minimalist approach to both lyrics and songwriting, Magick Mountain feels like a project that’s all about the ‘vibe’. This album would be at home in a smoke-filled room with a tatty sofa hosting a mop-haired hippie passed out on it. They’ve nailed that ‘vibe’ even down to the album cover, but if you’re not all about the psychedelic there’s nothing much here for you to sink your teeth into.
Sure, there’s some interesting tracks. “King Cobra” is a bass-driven romp with a helping of sugar in the absurdist lyrics “I wish I was a snake so I could taste the air,” and “Brown Bread” has a clap-along almost chorus and some solid riffs. In fact, this whole record is jam-packed with solid riffs, but it’s the predictable nature of these that tips Weird Feelings into boredom.
Leeds has produced a lot of great acts over the years and there’s definitely hints of that background on show here, but the great northern power trio this is not. However, if you want to do the time-warp again, this one’s for you.