The pride and joy of Panic Records has released their first LP last month. I Can See Mountains is an indie band that mixes punk and pop influences into a well-blended style of rock. Their debut album Life On a Houseboat is geared to be the perfect soundtrack for many a restless suburbanite on this quaint, hot and humid summer vacay. The band is due to perform two shows in their native Buffalo on August 10: one in Waiting Room and another at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar. Just some finger work on your browser should get you to icanseemountains.bigcartel.com or to the Panic Records website to score some sweet tickets to liven up said quaint and boring summer.
The punk influence, perhaps more than anything, stands out the most from this band. The rapid percussion work, most notably the heavy cymbals, is consistent with this genre of music which, from its inception in the late 1970s, was geared toward a harder, grittier sound than that of its other rock peers. However, there is undoubtedly a pop sound to I Can See Mountains as well, though this by no means undermines their musicality. The melodies are light and fun to bounce your head around in the privacy of your bedroom to. Nonetheless, the lyrics themselves are anything but mindless dribble; they are, in fact, deeply contemplative of a still, typical life that often surrounds most of us. This is especially apparent in tracks like “Sea Legs” and “Snake Eater”. They sound like memories of past get-togethers with family and friends, yet the way the lyrics are written express a need to reconstruct them to ease the pangs of the past to make them more beautiful and new for the present. This resonates the most with me because aside from the melody, I feel that lyrical content is equally important in determining the validity of a song, if not an entire album. To listen to very thoughtful artistry as this lets me see the artist/band as a distinguished entity among other acts. This much also reminds me (and should remind the rest of us) that music is not a trendy commodity, simply to be dressed in the latest trends to be bought and sold by the undistinguishing masses; rather it is an organic medium expression used to express the humanity that all of us have in common. I Can See Mountains uses this to their advantage on their debut album and I believe many a deep-thinking music fan will enjoy the non-monotony of their style of pop-punk.
I Can See Mountains on the web:
— Simone Brown