Autumn Falls Festival @ Botanqiue - Brussels (be)
If you measure every human act or expression as some manifestation of our hard-wired propensity to have sex, survive and spread our genetic junk around, you could be labeled a darwinist. And they seemingly come in all sizes and shapes: economic and literary darwinists, evolutionary psychologists and biologists, and, paradoxically, creationist-leaning conservatives, to name a few. Unwittingly, then, those kind rock journalists out there who have summed up the music of Pink Mountaintops as being all about sex have fallen into the same age-old trap of oversimplification (for which we are partially to blame). The desire is for everything to be in a neat little box, much like the variously-configured darwinists out there would prefer that everything we do be explained by just one simple and powerful idea. But what is real and true in the world does not work like that, we humbly believe. Yeah, you may express, with a wink, that you know what the “pink mountaintops” are all about. Perhaps you can fuck them, both literally and figuratively. But we’d maintain that you can’t put your hands around these mountaintops. No, because these mountaintops are unreachable. You can’t measure them. You can’t know them or neatly dissect them. You can’t possess them. All you can do is look at them. And, hopefully, having gazed on them, you’ll come to the realization that you can think about them in more than one way.
The rock’n’roll road can be a long and lonely one. And it leaves much time for the mind to wander, to fixate and to obsess over the human body and all its wondrously dirty parts. Enter Pink Mountaintops. Pink Mountaintops is Stephen McBean (and also many of his friends when the full band is assembled to play live). McBean has been in numerous groups over the last two decades. As a thirteen-year old, he played in a band called Jerk Ward, playing hardcore influenced by the Neos, Discharge, Crucifix and whoever else was fast or the fastest. His other bands to date have been a straight out punk outfit, a crusty punk/metal band, and, most recently, a psych-tinged maximal rock group whose self-titled debut record, Black Mountain, captured a great amount of critical acclaim (and meteorically became Jagjaguwar’s best-selling title.)