Datura 4 — Hairy Mountain
(Alive Natural Sound 0185, 2016, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-11-11
Hairy Mountain is the second release from West Australian band Datura 4. Continuing on from their debut album Demon Blues, Hairy Mountain presents 10 new garage-psych-blues rock songs. There are hints of early Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, and even David Bowie. There is even a nod to Muddy Waters in “Too Much (Or Not Enough)” where they grab the lyric “drinkin’ TNT, smokin’ dynamite” from his iconic “I’m Ready.” Most of the songs have pleasant psych-pop vocal harmonies in contrast to the aggressive riffing and fuzzed guitars. The songs are great from the nightmarish lyrics of “Trolls,” the rock-a-billy influenced “Mary Caroll Park,” to the slide and tremelo guitars on “Something to Hide.” Then we come to the excellent closing song “Broken Path,” which is a brand new direction for the band. This is first and foremost an acoustic guitar and bongos song with slide guitar playing glissandos up and down the guitar neck. “Broken Path” is so different from the rest, that I hope it is an indication of where they are moving musically. So if you enjoy good retro rock covering blues rock, psych, country rock, and a bit of rock-a-billy, then Hairy Mountain may be just for you.
Related artist(s): Datura 4
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.