Banished From The Universe
Dunedin’s Mountaineater has a weight of expectation behind it, on top of it, all around it, some two years in the making – and finally we have the band’s debut self-titled full-length album.
But Mountaineater arrived as a known quantity essentially, because this is the post-HDU project for singer and guitarist Tristan Dingemans. Very few musicians actually leave their stamp on music; very few actually create something new but across the 1990s and into the early 2000s Dinegmans, as the leader of High Dependency Unit, took the template from Bailterspace and The Gordons and The Skeptics and created his own sound.
With Mountaineater there are moments where he circles close to HDU – it’s still his sound after all, but over the six songs on this album the new trio makes use of the early doom sound of The Cure by placing those strong basslines inside jaw-rattling, face-melting sonic temples. Dingemans’ guitar spits with Tourette’s and on the centrepiece, the nearly 10-minute instrumental Ch’An Ra we have a new version of Maggot Brain; perhaps for those raised on Tool or at least newly turned on to Beastwars. A Maggot Brain informed by Pornography. A Maggot Brain that Jakob and Beastwars, in collaboration, might aim for. A Maggot Brain that feels like the only album on earth.
As with HDU, while you listen to Mountaineater you’ll be sure it’s the only music that matters. And of course you’d be right.
Mountaineater performs tonight at The San Francisco Bath House in Wellington. Check the band’s Facebook page for the rest of the NZ tour details.