High Upon The Mountain
Thank goodness there are bands such as Pacific Range who are carrying on the tradition of the California/L.A. sound. They wear their influences on their sleeves, which is fine, because they take such influences and create their own distinct sound, adding a new chapter to the legacy. High Upon The Mountain is their second album, and their first for the new record label, Curation Records.
This is a straight ahead rock album, featuring strong melodies, tight instrumentation and musicianship, excellent production and personal lyrics. You can hear The Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Grateful Dead, or even The Allman Brothers. There is even some very cool jamming and extended solos (check out the closing track, “Nothing Else More”, over seven minutes and every second is essential).
From beginning to end, this is a solid album that works on many levels. It is also an essential album for these times. Listen to “Heartbeat Of Change”, you would almost think it was written in response to the global crisis, with lyrics such as “Things will be better farther on down the line/It’s true, it’s true”. Such optimism and hope is needed today. And set against a guitar driven backing, it is enough to bring a lump to the throat.
Throughout the album, Pacific Range channels other artists, such as Neil Young with “Santa Monica (Through The Canyon)”. Again, this is not a criticism, merely that they have written a song that Neil Young would have been more than proud to have written. Throughout the album such artists float in and out the music.
High Upon The Mountain is an impressive album. It is clear that all the live playing and their experience has brought the band to this level. The album flows nicely, and it plays as an album from the 1970s or earlier. There are obvious singles, but when the songs are placed on the album (sequencing of this album is stellar) it all comes together for a very strong, cohesive album.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: PACIFIC RANGE – HIGH UPON THE MOUNTAIN