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A. Armada - Never Come Down From The Mountain CD (album) cover

NEVER COME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN

A. Armada

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Swan song?

A. Armada are (were) a well respected post-rock band from Athens Georgia. In 2008 they released what is likely their definitive album called "Anam Cara" and earned a reputation for stellar live shows, even touring Europe. Then for several years the band were largely silent and one of the post-rock music blogs I researched hinted that the hiatus may be permanent. "Never Come Down from the Mountain" would seem to confirm that assessment. If it is their swan song it's a shame because this is a pretty cool band. "Never Come Down from the Mountain" was harvested from sessions that took place a few years back rather than current activity, which is likely why the blog assumes the group is done. They also noted the almost demo-like quality here suggesting not much time was put into post production. I'm not sure if that's true or if this material was simply intended to be more muscular and less refined than previous work. But the following humorous notes from their page suggest perhaps real life has befallen the band?...always a tragedy:

"It's not yet eight in the morning and you're about to leave your one-bedroom apartment. You do this every day now. Whoops, you think to yourself suddenly--you almost say it aloud--as a small, intangible feeling of panic runs from your chest up through the base of your cranium. How did this happen? It was just a month ago (Or was it yesterday? A year ago? Longer?) that you were in a room with two other people playing drums. Or was it guitar? (Couldn't have been the bass.) Yet, here you are: clean-shaven and heading to work, the recollection of all that led to this somehow simultaneously fading away and coming back to you. What cruel magic is this? You recorded most of these songs somewhere between then and now in a rehearsal space in Athens, Georgia..." excerpted notes from band page ? A.G. Daught, March 2014

This is my first experience with A. Armada and the band would seem influenced by the usual soaring post-rock champions in Sigur or Explosions, albeit with a hard guitar sound and sometimes a more straightforward rock feel. The songs range from the long and lumbering build-up and oft crushing mass of "Jupiter-And Beyond the Infinite" to the downright sprightly, sunny day bike ride of "Don't Shred on Me." The 10-minute "Rhythm is Destroyed" moves the band into a neo-psych, almost doom territory with desolate sounding backdrop. Over each song are thoughtful and layered guitar performances, gripping, heavier than most post bands I've heard, the lead guitar, drums, and bass will fill in some of those spaces with improvisation. Hard to decipher spoken word passages add to the creepiness factor....this track sound much like the band Spiral who I've written about extensively. The roughness of the production does at times become too noticeable but it shouldn't deter most fans. Indeed, if this is what the band were capable of in their "one foot out the door" collection of goodies to fans, I really need to hear the album they made at the peak of their collaboration, "Anam Cara." This one is worth checking out but certainly not essential.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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