Big Mountain County began in Rome in 2012, formed initially by members of garage band The Boilers, building up a live reputation on the Italian punk and garage circuit. After self-releasing a single and touring throughout continental Europe the band brought out a well received first album, ‘Breaking Sound’ on Gas Vintage Records. This seemed to mark something of a change in direction towards a more blues oriented sound, while maintaining the bands previous vitality. The tracks on this live album are largely from this debut LP.
Recorded a live in Rome in November 2015, and released on Area Pirata Records, ‘Anachronicle’ is an excellent recording that really captures the dirty psych of Big Mountain County. This is not one of those live records that sounds as if it has been mastered within an inch of its life to achieve some sort of sonic perfection. So while, yes, it’s a clean recording the rawness of the music still shines through. This is the sort of low down in the gutter blues that reminded me, most recently, of the likes of Fuzz and the Amazing Snakeheads who, arguably, also make most sense when in a seedy live setting.
As such there is a visceral element to the performance recorded here. Opener, ‘Conflict Resolution Pt.1’ is such a grinder that you imagine that this isn’t exactly going to be through arbitration, while ‘I’m Satisfied’ has more of a garage edge with its pounding rhythm section and elemental guitar. I love the way that ‘What Do You Think? just takes off half way through in one of those moments that you can almost imagine being there: its pure rock and roll and nothing wrong with that at all.
Elsewhere there are more psych elements to the tracks, through the sitar sounds of ‘About A Clown’ and hazy guitar on ‘Farewell’; while the eight minute stormer ‘1945’ really brings it home in with a sixties repeato riff and some serious freaking out…a real stormer that I would have loved to be there to witness. If you love The Seeds or Thee Oh Sees you’re in the right ballpark here.
Big Mountain County are the sort of band whose music lends itself to live performance, and because of this, I much prefer this live album to the previous studio release. It completely makes sense to me that the they would want to put this out after only one LP on the books. They are a band who seem to have evolved into a really great psych blues live act, perhaps because they’ve maintained that gritty punk aesthetic, and ‘fuck you’ garage attitude. Either way this is a good live album to explore for anyone who loves their music rough, ready and raw.
Big Mountain County are
Alessandro Montemagno – Vox and guitar
Francesco Conte – Guitar and synth
Wolfman Bob – Bass and maracas
Bruno Mirabella – Drums and drums
‘Anachronicle’ is available from Area Pirata here.