Mount Stealth - EP2

6 songs
32:21 minutes
***** ****
Chez Kito Kat


It’s already been three years since Mount Stealth’s debut EP, and after all this time, they have come up with only another six track EP, lazily titled EP2. The debut was marketed as the follow-up project to Miaow Miaow, one of Luxembourg’s best power pop bands ever. That’s why the debut left me a little disappointed, because Mount Stealth’s instrumental indie music does cover a whole different ground. Three years later, one is more inclined to compare the new EP to its predecessor EP than to the long gone predecessor band. And in that way, EP2 is a huge step forward for Mount Stealth.

Most instrumental bands these days are dabbling in post rock and/or math rock, and while these genres certainly do play a role in Mount Stealth’s overall sound, they are just a small part of the whole. The guys are above all terrific songwriters who use their undeniable musical skills always in favour of the song. Too often instrumental music can be self-indulgent, be it never ending meandering solos in the post rock genre or masturbatory guitar parts in the math rock genre. Mount Stealth don’t need any of this. Instead they come up with an electronically enhanced kind of indie rock that gives each of the four band members to stand out collectively and at times individually. A good example is the opener Gambero which starts with heavily brooding synthesizer sounds, soon to be joined by an electronically distorted guitar, and then by the clockwork precise drumming. Not much later the songs heads into a Caribbean direction, adding some of the afro beats that seem to be so popular right now. Underneath it all there floats an undeniable melancholy that is counterpointing the otherwise happy sounding guitar.

The following Loco starts with a crazy electronic part that reminds me a little of Fuck Buttons, but as soon as the live drums join in, we get a more organic feeling. The synthesizers add a certain progressive rock pomp, the guitars are heavily distorted and full of delay, giving them a lot of room to float around in. Tropicalia follows in the direction, letting the song once again start in a more electronic fashion, before the guitars enter the stage. As the title suggests, this is a more airy tune, feeling maybe a little jazzy, but above just like a real song, with parts that make sense from beginning to end.

The songs on EP2 average about five minutes each, making this a rather generous extended play. While I was not yet sure about the overall direction of Mount Stealth on their debut EP back in 2012, I have to admit that they have matured considerably, even if it means on average writing only one song every six months. EP2 is a highlight in the genres of instrumental rock music. Despite being proficient musicians, Mount Stealth never even once need to show off, but always put their skills in the service of the song. If you think that post and math rock have ended in a dead end street, Mount Stealth are the path back to adventurous music.

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