Moving Mountains

New Light EP

Written by: TL on 12/06/2012 14:25:44

Before I get started talking about "New Light EP", the newest release by American post-rock/post-hardcore trio (quartet for touring purposes) Moving Mountains, let me just point out to any Danes reading this that the band is playing Copenhagen on Thursday and if you haven't already, you should listen to their 2011 album "Waves" and free up you schedule for that show, rather than waste time reading this article. If you're already familiar with the band and have known about the show for a while, then by all means do proceed.

You see "New Light" is very much a record for existing, dedicated Moving Mountains fans, because it is a record that offers no new songs, serving instead as a vessel for the band to showcase acoustic remakes of two songs from each of their two albums "Waves" and "Pneuma". In case you don't know, Moving Mountains are normally a rather loud, big-sounding band in which elements from post-rock and post-hardcore are united in grand, cinematic compositions, yet here on "New Light" the trio restrain themselves to the use of drums, acoustic guitars and the occasional bit of cello from guest musician Caitlin Grace Bailey (who also helped out on "Waves").

Now when I say that I think such a record is primarily interesting for existing fans, it's because I honestly do not find the acoustic versions of these songs to be all that interesting compared to the originals, especially because the compositions haven't changed all that much. The main difference is of course that the songs have to thrive without the power and effects of electric guitars, and while Moving Mountains still manage to sound pretty and convincing, I think the way their music is written simply lends itself better to an amplified setting. Their strength has always been in their layers, and their melodies appear weaker in this stripped back arrangement, and the same can be said for the vocals of singer/guitarist Gregory Dunn. It's not that the songs, nor his vocals are suddenly bad, but when you've heard what a similar band like England's Fightstar can do when they strip their cinematic soundscapes down and let their singer and guitarist Charlie Simpson shine, it's hard not to think that Moving Mountains are slightly inferior in this department.

I realise I may come off overly negative here, which is indeed a bit unfair because "New Light" is a decent enough listen, it's just that even as a person who appreciates the band beforehand, I still think the best thing about it is that it makes me want to listen to the albums the band has made with full instrumentation. So eventually, I really have no other conclusion than that this is a record primarily for super fans of Moving Mountains, or for people who just generally like to see what loud rock bands can do in a calmer arrangement. If you're not one of those, give "Waves" and "Pneuma" another spin instead, and come out to the show on Thursday if you're in Copenhagen.


Download: Ode We Will Bury Ourselves, Where Two Bodies Lie
For The Fans Of: Fightstar, Union Sound Set, The Unwinding Hours.. loud music reimagined acoustically

Release Date 24.04.2012
Triple Crown Records

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