Mounties may mean many things to many people, not the least of whom are the three band members united beneath the moniker. They’ve called it everything from “a creative accident” to “a warehouse of musical ideas”. Most simply put, Mounties is the musical union of three industry veterans in Hawksley Workman, Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat and Fur Trade, and Ryan Dahle of Limblifter and Age of Electric.
Their latest album, Heavy Meta, is a curious and compelling mishmash of ideas, eras, and experimentation. It inevitably includes the bits of genius that made its predecessor – and each member’s individual projects – worth hearing and takes it all to new heights and new dimensions. Vocal melodies, wobbly vintage synth lines, and staccato guitar leads seemingly sprout from nowhere yet never steal focus from the melodies and emotions they support.
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HERE FROM SOPHOMORE ALBUM HEAVY META OUT FEBRUARY 8, 2019
As such, Heavy Meta came together like a musical mosaic – parts are written collectively patched with parts written alone. Some were recorded in bedrooms and others in basements; home studios and iconic studios. Bays even did much of his work beside the fire at his rustic middle-of-nowhere cabin.
Everyone engineered and everyone mixed, with some songs entirely reshaped through literally hundreds of revisions. “For me, the art of the process is what’s so rewarding about Mounties,” Bays shares.
Indeed, Heavy Meta makes it clear that these three have cemented their sonic identity. Tracks like “No XTC” and “Flags of Convenience” are as lively as they are diverse, loaded with twisting melodies and strange-but-satisfying meters, whereas “Burning Money” and “Longplay” are sticky, more straightforward rockers.
Then there’s the hypnotic slow burn of the slithery “Python Status.” Despite the wide array of influence and countless moving parts, though, the collection remains cohesive, uncompromising, and undeniably Mounties.