In a stroke of coincidence most eerie, you would have to admit, I am now for my second consecutive review handling an artist from the Virginian capital city of Richmond. Likewise, for the second time it’s a solo rock artist (this clearly isn’t the city of brotherly love), although this time the results are little more exciting: what Bandcamp cites as “a one man heavy psychedelic sludge project.”
Personally, I come from a line of hippies so I don’t usually notice psychedelia in music unless it’s like completely saturated in it: the vibe I got right away was that this stuff was treehouse boys’ music, which, I’ll admit, I can never really seem to get enough of (I once spent one car ride from my hometown of South Bend, Indiana down to my current home of Terre Haute listening to Led Zeppelin’s III, Physical Graffiti and Coda). And further along these lines, it gets up to 90 and humid every day in this fu**in’ clip joint, so you might say I can identify with his whole “crushing yellow sun” malady too.
And there’s this guy’s picture: it’s hilariously “rock and roll,” depicting him in shades, a short sleeve leather shirt and a beanie, smoking a cigarette and lunging slightly toward the camera looking every bit like a groove-minded Eric Wilson on a steady diet of the working class mid-Atlantic. How he found the self-control in him to not flick off the camera is beyond me… maybe he’s actually not a giant douche bag, or something. I mean, crazier things have happened.
As for the album itself — yeah it’s Black Mountain on, again, the dietetics of the no-thanks East Coast, rock music with a jagged edge on which groove, is piled upon groove, is piled upon groove, baths of distortion cloaking virtuosic guitar solos that seem to last entire songs, gutbucket drums pounding in from an enclosed area to make their snarky selves known as well. “The Bomber” will be an interesting selection to talk about here for a couple of reasons — one, it actually has vocals, which are muffled and ominous very much like in Soundgarden’s “Applebite,” but also, that structurally, seeing as this is indeed a one-man project, the operation starts to lag a big and come off as static, where you start to miss the full-band element of a Johnny Greenwood or a Colin Moulding, some angular, eccentric mind to really push the thing in overdrive. As it stands, Crushing Yellow Sun is edgy, entertaining background rock which still sounds about as grizzly and hard-won as anything I’ve heard this year.