Mount Fabric are a Manchester-based band whose lyrics walk a fine line between profound and ridiculous – “The flickering embers of a sleeping fire/The shivers descending down a grid of wires/The master pretending like he has not heard/The tectonic bending of his island world.” Admittedly, these words do at least avoid the usual clichés and conjure some affecting imagery. The phrase “tectonic bending” may induce giggles in some (me, namely), but it is apparently a legitimate geological term, so I shall cease and desist.
Musically, the framework is fairly standard indie rock, though in fairness Mount Fabric do twist this into strange new places at times via clever use of effects, layers and textures. When Cortisol begins, it brings to mind a less muscular facsimile of The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret by Queens of The Stone Age and thus impending litigation. There follows however a pleasing change in dynamics – the instruments fall away to sparse synths and drum machines, over which the above “tectonic bending” sequence is chanted and thoughts of Josh Homme and chums are forgotten. If this section was included at their lawyer’s request, then perhaps other bands should consider involving their legal team in the creative process.
However, Cortisol segues into Fault, which is perched rather too firmly in MOR balled territory and features little of the innovation of the preceding song, with waffling lyrics about breathing again like Toni Braxton unleashed from purgatory. R.O.C. on the other hand is something of a return to form, with chiming guitar and synchronised tom-toms. It’s quite pleasant in an Interpol-esque fashion, plangent with falsetto vocals and an atmospheric fade-out.
The Lightning Fork has a guitar line which manages to be both Eastern-sounding and similar to The Fall’s Crop Dust, even threatening at one point to veer into the Black Books theme (hey, that’s not a bad thing.) Later, the guitar sounds a little like Johnny Greenwood circa OK Computer, so accusations of a lack of ambition cannot be levelled at this track.
In all it’s not a bad effort, but perhaps missing that tiny elusive element to distinguish it further. However, it’s quite an achievement to condense this many discernible influences into an EP – if Mount Fabric ditch the more predictable avenues and continue the experimentation, things could get interesting. Particularly if they get their lawyers in the studio to suggest some middle-eights.