The last Pink Mountaintops record, 2009’s Outside Love, was a hazy, romantic affair with lots of slow grooves and female vocalists singing alongside ringleader Stephen McBean. The only female vocalist this time around is Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy, who delivers a profane rap on North Hollywood Microwaves, inserting a reference to a certain crack-smoking mayor between all the bear-cum jokes.
That’s a good indication of how much has changed in McBean’s world. The 45-year-old Vancouver native has moved to Los Angeles, where he appears to be having the time of his life, following love, taking time off from psych rockers Black Mountain, jamming with J Mascis (who also appears on Get Back) and starting new bands, including hardcore four-piece Obliterations.
The spirit of youth is all over this energized offering. Songs have a lurking Thunders-and-Bowie glam rock edge, dotted with rock ‘n’ roll sax solos. The lyrics are reflective without being nostalgic – as if McBean’s bringing a fun adolescence back into the here and now. There are no big hooks, no clear single. Just a boozy-and-woozy late-night vibe that’s pretty damn satisfying.
Top track: Sell Your Soul