Good drone requires striking somewhere between sounding like a washing machine upstairs and the Green Line going around the corner between Boylston and Arlington. Painstakingly difficult to create, the results are arresting and provoking or instantly forgettable. For a genre in which success can actually be mind numbing, the pressure is on to make songs stick.

On their new album Air Museum, Mountains’s members Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, perhaps afraid of getting lost in the noise, build much of the album around electronic pulses. This makes for a bizarrely lively drone album with very mixed results. On tracks like “Sequel,” the rhythmic throbbing carries the dense drone of the track, creating a sound comparable to playing Cocteau Twins in slow motion; on opener “January 17,” they sound like getting your teeth drilled and are distracting as fuck.

Tellingly, closer “Live at the Triple Door,” with its more traditional roar and underlying melody swaying beneath, blows every other track away.

Mountains – Blue Lanterns on East Oxford from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

[Mon 6.20.11. Great Scott. 1222 Comm. Ave., Allston. 617.566.9014. 9pm/18+/$10.]


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