Magic Mountain is the fourth studio release by rock band, Black Stone Cherry, coming out last Monday on Roadrunner Records (6th May), Black Stone Cherry also released details they would be doing an arena run here in the UK later on in the year. So I thought it would be a good idea to check out the album and see what they’re going to be bringing over here in October and November, and whether it’s worth a listen.
If anything strikes you about this record, it’s the guitar work, not many bands test the strings of their guitars more than this band with intricate riffs throughout the album, Peace Pipe has some awesome guitar work and the introduction guitars are something to behold, they crash at you like thunder and lightning and really work with the music, though there’s nothing particularly different from other bands in their genre in comparison, the riff work and skill throughout the whole album is what sets them apart – the guitars are very different compared to other musicians and probably the highlight of this album.
The vocals from Chris Robertson are still raw and ready to go, with a punch lyrically out of nowhere and sometimes you don’t really expect it with diverse sounds on this record that sometimes it feels like there’s a lack of flow in the record – Me And Mary Jane, can’t be compared to Peace Pipe, and Magic Mountain doesn’t sound anything like the previous song, Runaway, however it kinda works in a weird way – it’s difficult to say what they have done differently from previous records and there seems to be a bit of a plateauing from the band – however they wouldn’t be the first or the last to be guilty of that.
There are definitely some musical highlights on this record, Never Surrender, the eponymous Magic Mountain, and the first single Me and Mary Jane is definitely a highlight. The lyrics are simplistic so they’ll be easy to learn and definitely be sung back at them in any gig whereever they go, and the breaking it down on songs like Runaway and the country vibes on songs like Sometimes, are definitely welcome – it’s definitely an album with plenty of light and shade there.
If you love this band, you aren’t going to be too surprised by this record and probably gonna love it as it has all the Black Stone Cherry traits you know and love. If you’re listening to this band for the first time, it’s a great album to introduce yourself with with some great hooks and some awesome riffs, and some catchy songs – Hollywood in Kentucky and Magic Mountain are definitely those kind of songs, however if you’re a casual rock music fan, I think you can find a lot of the traits on this record in bands you already listen to and done better in some ways – some great songs, some great instrumentalists but nothing that really blows me out of the water.