We haven’t heard much lately from Black Mountain. The great rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia, released three albums between 2005 and 2010, but it hasn’t had an album in five years. Later this month, the Jagjaguwar label is releasing a deluxe version of Black Mountain’s self-titled debut (adding four songs from the Druganaut EP and four previously unreleased tracks, making for a double LP).
This 10th anniversary release was as good a reason as any for Black Mountain to hit the road again, stopping in Chicago this past weekend. I saw the band’s show on Friday, May 29, at the Do Division Street Fest — a set full of Black Mountain’s best and most epic songs, including key tracks from that terrific first album; Black Mountain also played a sold-out concert on Saturday at the Empty Bottle. The loopy tune “No Hits” sounded as whacked-out as ever, its title providing an ironic theme for the band, but the most riveting moments were when guitarist Stephen McBean and his bandmates locked into a riff and played it with thunderous power. McBean swapped vocals with Amber Webber, who stood there nonchalantly, dispensing with any pretense at rock-star showmanship — until she opened her mouth and sang with an eerie grace.