Mountain Battles

Studio Album by released in 2008

Mountain Battles review

Seven years of waiting for The Breeders’ new work have not been wasted

Today of American alternative rock band The Breeders that was formed back in 1988 only one founding member is left, namely guitarist and vocalist Kim Deal, the other current members being her twin sister Kelly also playing guitar and performing vocal parts, drummer Jose Medeles and bassist Mando Lopez. Before creating the band Kim Deal was a bassist with the collective Pixies, and in 1990s continued working with it, also creating another project The Amps, while her sister was doing drug addiction rehabilitation course. The Breeders did not release any new material during ten years and only in 2001 the band’s creative hiatus ended with the release of its third album Title TK. Starting from 2006 Deal started recording new songs once again and finally this year its fourth studio record Mountain Battles is released. Certainly accumulating all the best qualities of its predecessors, pleasing with the harmonies of the two vocalists and the musicians’ great playing album Mountain Battles will definitely occupy a worthy position both in the discography of The Breeders and among this spring’s other works of the kind, so the seven years of waiting have not been wasted.

Songs for any life situation on Mountain Battles

Normally inclined to reflect and introspect The Breeders has recorded an album leaving a bit of place for brighter and more joyful pieces therefore the album has resulted in a very diverse one for it is possible to find songs for any life situation on it. All in all thirteen rather short tracks manage to sound within only a bit longer than half an hour each of them refreshing and mesmerizing at the same time. An amazing first one, somewhat solemn Overglazed, an example of a great rock with excellent drums contrasts with an absolutely unserious composition Bang On, perfectly suitable for dancing, and ballad Night Of Joy surprises with softness and the singing that is really mellifluent. The slowest song on the album is We're Gonna Rise, on which the time seems to stop but that is not for long as track German Studies wakes you from the dream again pleasing with an impetuous rhythm and contagious drums. The elements of tribal music on a most beautiful song Istanbul, Spanish motifs of romantic Regalame Esta Noche and the peacefulness of country on Here No More will surely be appreciated by those tired of heavy guitars but the penetratingly creaking No Way and a bit tough It's The Love do throw some cold water on the listener. Yet the album closes with the title track and here The Breeders obviously insist that it wants to reflect against the melancholic and somewhat sullen background. The band’s most successful album Last Splash was released in 1993.

The flight on the wings of inspiration

The faultless quality of music on Mountain Battles can be in many respects explained by the fact that it has taken quite a lot of time to work on it and the team has had an opportunity to think over the minutest peculiarities. Besides the member of The Breeders, the creative group included producers Steve Albini, who has also worked on the previous records, and Erica Larson (Antony And The Johnsons) and Manny Nieto (Mars Volta). Title TK’ and ‘Pod’ helmer Steve Albini and added Antony And The Johnsons engineer Erika Larson and Mars Volta collaborator Manny Nieto. The Breeders has never limited itself with the choice of directions within one record before and it neglects any boundaries at all on the new album. Mountain Battles reminds of an improvised salad in which one has mixed psychedelic, electronic, rock, pop and even punk, and dressed it up with inimitable female vocals that sound either sad, or gentle, or desperately insane. The voices of Deal sisters conquer so much on each track that at first one pays no attention to the content of the songs just enjoying the flight on the wings of inspiration that they never cease to infect with. At the same time the structure of the album does not let one relax a minute and even the most melancholic songs end faster than the impatient start to yawn. Nobody knows how long we have to wait for The Breeders’ next creation, the fact being that with Mountain Battles it will not be tiresome.